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2013

September Newsletter Welcome to Northfield Ecocentre’s September newsletter. With winter on the horizon we have dedicated this months newsletter to giving you advice about how to save energy, plus a few interesting extras. We hope you pick up some tips. Read on to find out more…

All the best,

g r e n E

l a i c y Spe

Getting ready for Winter

Luke Olly, Assistant Ecocentre Manager writes

Our Energy Services are forever developing and expanding so we thought it was about time we updated everyone on what’s happening and feature some of the more exciting projects we’re running and the talented staff who are responsible for them. I hope it excites and inspires you to see so much happening and so many people all working to reduce their bills and their carbon footprints.

Annual Report 2013

Every April Northfield Ecocentre produces an Annual Report which contains information on the previous years work, the Ecocentre accounts, measurements for our environmental impact and details about how the organisation is run. Check out our latest Annual Report for 2012. It describes how we achieved our aims, the projects we ran and the monitoring, environmental impact and finance figures for the year. You can download these reports in a PDF format on our website: www.northfieldecocentre.org/home/reports Congratulations to all the Ecocentre staff, Management Committee and volunteers for all we have achieved.

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r e n n i W r e v o e k a M y g r A year on e n E To find out more about Solid Wall Insulation read page 5

In April 2012 Northfield Ecocentre ran a competition for a local Birmingham householder to receive a free energy makeover worth £9,000. Luke Pearson, one of the Ecocentre’s Green Deal Energy Advisors recently re-visited one of the lucky winners , Laura Jackson, to see how she is getting on a year later. Competition winner, Laura Jackson said; “Before the work was done, with single brick walls it was quite cold in the winter and damp as well. We knew that the heating was just going straight out of the wall, and straight out of the loft”.

On his recent visit Luke completed a second Energy Performance certificate (EPC) assessment to compare the results before and after the work. Laura explained;

Laura had received free external solid wall insulation, a new damp proof membrane on her wall and new heating controls on her radiators (TRVs) and room thermostat to help regulate the heating more efficiently. Inspired by the work she also installed a new boiler herself.

“Even before they had finished the outside wall insulation you could tell there was a massive difference in terms of the warmth of the house. I would definitely recommend it.

Visit our website for more photographs and info: www.northfieldecocentre.org/green-deal/case-studies Left and below: Luke carries out a new Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessment of Laura’s home after the improvements Continues on the next page….

Laura shared;

“I didn’t know anything about the Ecocentre before, and Luke Olly (Assistant Manager) has been absolutely fantastic. At the very beginning when all the work was going to be done he was really good in getting in contact and now with a few issues he’s been fantastic, and they’ve kept to their side of the agreement.” www.northfieldecocentre.org I Email: advice@northfieldecocentre.org I Call us on: 0121 448 0119


r e n n i W r e v o e k a M y g r A year on e n E … continued.

Left: Laura Jackson & her Mum at her house in Northfield after the improvements were made to her home (August 2013).

The Results Before: Pre solid wall insulation and new

After: with external wall insulation and new boiler installed

Energy Performance Certificate: Energy Efficiency Rating The graphs above show the energy efficiency rating of Laura’s property, where A is the highest and most efficient and G is the lowest. The ‘current’ column shows the efficiency of the property at the time of the assessment, and the ‘potential’ shows what the efficiency of the property could become based on the recommendations on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) being installed. The average energy efficiency rating for a dwelling in England and Wales in band D. What do Laura’s EPC results show? So as you can see above the rating has increased from 52- 56, moving from an E rating to a D. This means that the property has become more energy efficient. This is because external solid wall insulation and a new energy efficient boiler have been installed. As the client has confirmed the property is cheaper to heat. This is because the new condensing boiler is more energy efficient than the previous boiler. Also the property now retains heat more effectively because of the solid wall insulation. Using the room thermostat combined with the programmer will mean that the heating system will switch off for longer periods of time during the heating times (when the desired temperature of the room thermostat is reached) because the property holds the heat better because of the wall insulation. With further improvements Laura’s home could eventually move to a level C.


? l a e D n e e r G e A brief h t s i t Wha

overview Points to note: - You can get a Green Deal Assessment FREE of charge if you go through Northfield Ecocentre and live in the Birmingham area. - There are a variety of funding pots available which means most people can get subsidies towards the work - Anybody with solid walls can receive a subsidy towards solid wall insulation. - Green Deal Finance has a minimum APR of 7% because it’s an unsecured loan (i.e. if you don’t pay it back they won’t take your house). - You don’t have to take the loan out. A lot of people pay any costs through remortgaging or savings as it’s cheaper To book a: Green Deal Assessment with Northfield Ecocentre call us on 0121 448 0119 To contact the government Energy Saving Advice Service call 0300 123 1234

To find out more about Solid Wall Insulation read page 5 >


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Free Boiler Scheme

David has been working on a joint project with New World Solar as their energy assessor for a free boiler scheme. So far under the scheme he has assessed over 60 households to see if they’re suitable for a free boiler. To receive a free boiler you need to have an old, inefficient boiler, live in a privately owned property and be on certain benefits, which include: > Pension Credit > Child Tax Credit & an income below £15,860 > ncome-related employment & support allowance* > Income-based job seekers allowance* (*with additional elements, please contact us) Working in partnership with New World Solar means we’re able to offer boilers to some of the poorest people in our community, helping them get ready for the next Winter. Please contact us on 0121 448 0119 if you would like more information on this scheme.

External Wall Insulation The Facts

External Wall Insulation is one of the energy saving measures offered on the Green Deal Scheme

External Solid wall insulation is particularly designed for houses that have a solid wall construction and will greatly reduce the rate in which the heat passes

through the walls, reducing the cost of energy bills over a period of time and keeping the house warmer. The insulation is usually a weatherproof treatment that incorporates insulation. It may be from 15 to 300mm thick.

Benefits - If you live in a home with solid walls, 35% of your heat is escaping through the walls, which is costing you money. Insulating the walls will dramatically prevent heat loss in the winter (and also reduce heat gain in summer) and reduces energy consumption leading to: Greater warmth and improved comfort Less risk of ill health Lower fuel bills Increased value of property

Advantages gs Savin er annum p 75.00 droom 4 £ x Appro typical 3 be and t ed for a a s he a e d) g ( e s h ho u de t a c ² s e m i- ne s o f CO . 9 t o n ns . a nd 1 io e m is s

Ÿ Can be applied with very little disruption to the household Ÿ Gives a fresh renewed appearance of outer walls. Ÿ The reduction of draughts as cracks & gaps are filled in the brickwork. Ÿ Increases the life of your walls by protecting the brickwork. Ÿ Condensation is reduced on internal walls and can help prevent damp (will not solve rising or penetrating damp). The Drawbacks - are that it can be expensive initially, you may need to check with local council if planning permission is required, good access to outer walls is required, and it is not recommended if outer walls are structurally unsound and unable to be repaired.

To book a Green Deal Assessment call us on: 0121 448 0119


Consultancy Services Over the last 6 months our Energy & Environmental Manager Stuart Bowles has been developing and delivering services for organisations looking to reduce their fuel consumption and environmental impact. He’s been training hard and is now qualified as a Non-Domestic Green Deal Assessor which means he can produce Green Deal Reports and Energy Performance Certificates for organisations and he’s qualified to produce Display Energy Certificates for good measure.

Greening Museums He’s also been working closely with a variety of Museums including the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Lichfield Museums, Shugborough Hall, Coventry Transport Museum and many more. His aim has been to help them identify how and when they use their energy. From this initial investigation he can then put together a report highlighting key areas for making reductions, such as changing heating patters, working with staff or upgrading the fabric of the building. After completing these assessments he’s now moving on to assess their water usage We can help Businesses with: Stuart Bowles - Energy & Environmental Manager at Northfield Ecocentre

Northfield Ecocentre can help you at whatever stage your organisation is at, whether you're just starting to consider managing your energy and environmental impact and need an initial energy and/or environmental review of your organisation or you are already working towards a formal accreditation such as ISO 14001, we can support you every step of the way.

To find out more about reducing the carbon footprint of your business, and saving money visit: www.northfieldecocentre.org/energy-services/non-domestic Email: aadvice@northfieldecocentre.org I Call: 0121 448 0119


Gardening Activities

What a Tree-mendous Idea! Once again, we are teaming up with the Priory Rooms, to offer businesses the opportunity to contribute towards helping to protect the environment.

£10,000 Fundraising Target We are excited to be re-launching Urban Harvest, a project to pick and redistribute fruit that would otherwise go to waste, from back gardens and public places in Birmingham. Managed by a new Project Co-ordinator fruit will be bottled and sold in outlets in Birmingham, and given away to food pear banks andapple children’s centres. To donate visit cherry maple www.crowdfunder.co.uk/urbanalder harvest or pop into Northfield Ecocentreplum with cash or cheque beech payable to ‘Northfield Ecocentre’. We need 2000 people willing to invest £5 (or more!) by Wednesday 18 September 2013 or the project will sadly not go ahead and tons of un-used fruit will be left to waste.

Your support is vital!

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The Priory Rooms is a professional not-for-profit meeting and conference venue in the heart of Birmingham City Centre and member of the Central England Quakers. Every time a business books a meeting room a tree will be planted on their behalf through the Ecocentre! Conferencing with an Eco-conscience As well as planting trees, the Priory Rooms are reducing their own environmental impact by making: Energy Improvements to their Building - secondary glazing, insulating the glass roof, upgrading to more energy efficient lights and installing sensors to accurately control the heating system and the lighting. Ÿ Encouraging Green Travel - promoting public transport and two Electric Vehicle Charging Stations outside the venue, offering delegates a free fill up as a reward to their eco-friendly investment! Ÿ Recycling - providing still and sparkling water to conference rooms bottled on site in recycled glass bottles. Recycling rain water, using 100% recycled office paper, recycling waste paper and packaging. In the future, they are planning to introduce rain water harvesting.

For more information about The Priory Rooms and to help plant a tree visit: www.theprioryrooms.co.uk Join in with our Gardening Activities in our two Northfield Gardens:

Regular Garden Activities Garden Wednesdays

Garden Thursdays

11am - 2pm At Masefield Garden

10am - 12pm At the Ecocentre

www.northfieldecocentre.org I Email: admin@northfieldecocentre.org I Call us on: 0121 448 0119


September 2013 newsletter