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Greening Horsham. EcoFair press release1 Oct 2011

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Energy prices have risen by 21% since last year…

That’s £244 for the average household! Find practical money saving solutions at the Home & Business energy “Eco Fair” on Saturday 22nd October at County Hall North, Chart Way, Horsham RH12 1XA. 10am ‘til 4pm.

With the current global downturn and spending cuts biting, we are all likely to be feeling the pinch, so Greening Horsham’s Energy Eco fair couldn’t be more timely. There’s a whole raft of initiatives out there to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and see our bills fall, but they can seem pretty confusing. From the very simplest (and free) measures, like closing curtains or blinds at night, draft proofing and insulation, right up to installing solar panels on your roof to generate your own electricity, there are things absolutely EVERYONE can do reduce their bills significantly. While the issues surrounding our dependence on fossil fuels certainly have profound environmental significance, they also affect us much closer to home - literally in our homes!

The Feed-in Tariff for domestic solar PV installations (the money you get for creating your own electricity and selling it back to the National grid) is to be reviewed next April. It is predicted the tariffs will be reduced significantly, so now is certainly the time to consider PV installation. Once installed, the current tariffs are then guaranteed for 25 years!

Whether you are considering any of these projects for your home or business, or just interested to find out more, the Eco Fair will give you the information you need brought all together under one roof. The Eco Fair model has run very successfully in many locations across Sussex and further afield for several years, but it’s over four years since the last event in Horsham. It brings together a number of businesses offering a wide range of schemes - solar PV, insulation, Smart meters, wood burning & biomass boilers etc., industry specialists, and local residents, some of whom have undertaken these initiatives in their own homes. It’s a chance to chat informally (over coffee & cakes!), get the practical information you need to help you decide what scheme might work best for you, as well as how to make it happen. In addition to stalls, exhibitions and real people with real experience on hand to chat to, there will be a programme of speakers all day (programme in advance on our website) covering topics including the “Green Deal”, Solar PV tariffs,
Community energy schemes, Wood fuel heating & LED lighting.

The event will be opened at 10am by Claire Vickers, Chair of Horsham District Council who along with West Sussex County Council is actively supporting the EcoFair. Greening Horsham hopes to build on this event by running other EcoFairs in the future covering a range of environmental topics.

Greening Horsham website Phone 07941 338169


News from the Eco Fair

Solar Photovoltaic Systems

This is one local resident's experience of installing and using a Solar PV system.

With interest rates at a record low it occurred to me that Photovoltaic Solar Panels might just be worth investing in and would satisfy my environmental desire to benefit the planet albeit in a modest way. They would increase the value of our property so Roger and I decided it was a win-win situation.

Having done our Research we embarked on sourcing a supplier, shopping around is always advisable for major projects. Be prepared for some hard sales tactics, double glazing salesmen have reinvented themselves as solar panel salesmen. Despite being advised that we didn’t need planning permission fortunately we did contact our local council and were informed that we needed to apply for a ‘lawful development certificate’ as the panels could be viewed from a public highway. This cost £75 and actually was the only serious irritation in the whole process.

With our supplier chosen, our deposit lodged and our certificate in place we waited two months for installation; such was the demand for the product. Due to the accessibility of the garage roof, where the twelve panels were being fitted, the installation took just six hours.

Upon completion we registered with our energy supplier and watched the DC/AC meter start to click over. After three months we submitted our first reading on the 20th December and were duly sent a cheque for £78. This equates to a 3% annual return on our investment which isn’t bad given the atrocious weather in November and December.

So my top tips are:

  • Do shop around; there was a £5k difference between the highest and lowest quotes.

  • Be prepared to be the target of some aggressive selling tactics.

  • Do talk to your local council and energy provider early in the process.



Feb 2011