In December 2009, Ladock Parish put in a successful bid to the Government’s Low Carbon Community Challenge. Our bid was organised By Communuty Energy Plus, who chose to work with our community because our Transition Group had already taken steps towards making our community a low energy one.
The scheme provided up to £500,000 to 24 communities across the UK to introduce measures to aid transition to low carbon living. The government’s intention was to provide an understanding of how best to deliver this transition by comparing results from the different approaches adopted by the communities that have been selected.
The money awarded to our Community has been used to install a range of renewable energy and energy saving technologies in a range of buildings. These will be studied to see what benefits accrue and which technologies work best in which circumstances.
Eight houses ( a mix of housing types, ages and construction) were selected plus the two village halls, the two village schools, the two pubs and three other local businesses.
Overall 12 sets of photovoltaic panels and 5 sets of solar thermal panels have been fitted to properties. Two buildings have had biomass boilers installed, 2 have had ground source heat pumps, and 2 have had air source heat pumps. Insulation was due to have been installed in 7 properties, but has only been done in 4 of these.
The main one where it did not take place was the use of external cladding on a Victorian stone built house, and the reason was that planning permission was refused. As well as the work on various properties, a 20KW wind turbine was erected on a farmer’s field and has now been in operation for over a year. As another way of reducing carbon dioxide money was provided for an edible woodland. As the trees grow carbon dioxide will be absorbed, and it will also provide a source of food in the future.
These installations, as well as reducing CO2, will be examples of the technologies for other members of the parish who may wish to install them.. Quite a few of the installations are in prominent buildings such as the schools, the village halls and the pubs, so that the whole community should be well aware of the project.
An Open Day was held when community members could visit the sites where equipment has been installed and find out about how they are operating. Other Open Days will be held in the future.
The most important part of the scheme is that the feed-in-tarriffs from electricity generation from the wind turbine and the photovoltaic cells will not go to the householders but to a Community Benefit Society, Low Carbon Ladock Ltd, and this money will be spent on the installation of further energy saving and renewable energy equipment in the parish by a Community Co-operative, Ladock Carbon Co-operative Ltd.
In this way we are planning for 25 years of community action to fully turn our community into a low carbon community. All members of the parish ( and neighbouring parishes) can join these 2 bodies, and decisions will be made on a democratic basis. When the Government starts the Renewable Heat Incentive payments (for the solar thermal panels, the ground source heat pumps and the biomass boilers) these too will be paid into Low Carbon Ladock Ltd.