Category Archives: Energy


FREE Fuel Poverty and Energy Awareness Training



Impressions – Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition and Forum

Dear Vince

Thank you for organizing such a great event. We really enjoyed it.

The speakers were great, they were informative and interesting and held everyone’s attention. We do agree that the stands need to be further away from the forum area as it was sometimes difficult to hear over the background noise. Keith did a great job of chairing the forum – I could sit and listen to him for hours!

With regards to advertising, I would be happy to deliver posters to shops in Gillingham. Maybe you could email us all a poster and ask us to print some out and display locally. In Gillingham, we have an electronic notice board run by the town council. They hold the details of all the local organizations (Rotary Club, Cubs, brownies etc…). If anyone is organizing an event they email the details to the town council who pass them on to the organizations, who then email out the details to all of their members. This is a good system for advertising and works really well. Their email address is

I am happy to help with the organization of an event in Gillingham. One idea would be to run it along-side another event. We have a parking area outside our offices which would be perfect to erect a row or two of stands (subject to the agreement of our neighbouring businesses). The forum could be held in our offices away from noise. We could run it in conjunction with an event at Orchard Park Garden Centre to encourage extra visitors. Richard Cummings, one of the Directors of Orchard Park, is keen to hold events to encourage people to buy local produce. I am sure he would be happy to hold, for example, a local farmers or craft market. This would keep the whole family happy and visitors would be able to use the cafe and facilities at Orchard Park.

Some hands-on stands would be great for the children. The Stour Vale Hydro Group could have a stand with some demonstrations if it was held outside. We could also have an arts and crafts tent where people could make things from recycled materials – we have done this before with the help of the scrap store and it was a great success.

Another option would be to use the main hall at RiversMeet Leisure Centre and hold the forum upstairs in one of their rooms. I have organized events here before, the facilities are good but you don’t pick up any passing trade.

I would be more than happy to help with any event in Gillingham.

Thank you for a most enjoyable event on Saturday.


Julie Hansford

Simon Hawkins
Bioheat Ltd
Unit 5, Kingsmead Business Park

Tel: 01747 228474 / 07889 731471

Impressions – Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition and Forum

On Saturday the 16th of February I went with a friend to the Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition and Forum – I`m glad I went. I went of course with a set of expectations and to a certain extent these were confirmed; there were various exhibitors passing on useful information about Renewable Energy and how it can be applied to ones own life and there were also exhibitors showing of the latest technologies in energy saving, such as LED lighting. Being fairly involved in all this myself I tend to think I am fairly well informed, but after attending this Expo I am definitely now better informed – there is always more to learn, especially as this is an ever developing field, and that sure adds to the fun of it.

But as I said I went with a set of expectations – and one thing I was not expecting was the “conversation” as one person described it, going on at the Forum part of the Exhibition. And this was interesting – seeing various people with expertise in Renewable Energy stand up and give a short presentation on a particular aspects of the Renewable Energy “thing” and then open up the floor for a questions and answers & general discussion. This proved to be very interesting, various points being raised, ideas being proposed – people feeling involved. Should there be another of these Exhibitions I fervently hope that it will include that Forum part.

Going by the numbers of people coming into the room – some staying to hear the speakers, some just browsing the stands of the exhibitors, some deep in discussion amongst themselves, I would say the event was a success. The exhibitors will no doubt have their own criteria but it would seem likely to me that if another such event was run, then those who were there on Saturday would seek to return and quite possibly there will be others also seeking to exhibit.

On a closing note I ought to mention my friends impressions – she is someone not necessarily taken up by the Renewable Energy cause, but like many people she takes an interest in what is happening with our energy supplies and so forth. She like me found the Forum part interesting, but did feel that the discussion about the proposed Community Renewable Energy scheme in Sturminster Newton might have been more fully explained, and I could see her point. So perhaps a Forum event in the future might include the opportunity to talk more in depth with the people presenting or perhaps some information sheets to accompany the talks (though to save on paper these could perhaps be printed on demand at the venue).

Anyway all I can add is that I`m glad I went and many thanks to the people who were there, exhibitors and visitors – all were involved and included in making it the success it was (and the sun shone).


Resource pack on energy efficiency and community Green Deal

Thanks for your interest in the development of the new Centre for Sustainable Energy resource ‘PlanLoCaL: energy efficiency and community Green Deal’. We are delighted to announce that it is now available on our new PlanLoCaL website to coincide with the national launch of the Green Deal!

The new resources are here. And there’s also a short video of our chief exec Simon Roberts, OBE, explaining the PlanLoCaL resource here. For the full story take a look at the CSE website.

PlanLoCaL is a suite of resources and films to help communities plan for Low Carbon Living. This new pack includes information sheets, case studies, templates and tools. It provides lots of guidance on some tricky and complicated issues so that you don’t have to start from scratch. The aim is to help community groups to make the most out of the Green Deal and gain a better understanding of how to set up and run successful community-led energy efficiency projects in their local area.

Development of the resource was supported by a grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and draws on the collective knowledge and experience of staff at the Centre for Sustainable Energy. We’ve tried to address all of the questions and comments that have been fed in by community groups across the country to make the resource as useful as possible. We’ll also be producing a printed version of the resource in the near future. Let us know if you’d like to receive a copy.

We hope that you will find it a really comprehensive guide but we’d love to hear your feedback so we can keep improving. If you do have any comments, drop us a line:

Best wishes
CSE Communities
Centre for Sustainable Energy

0117 9341400 (switchboard)
0800 082 2234 (Home Energy Team)

Thin Film Solar Cells: New World Record for Solar Cell Efficiency

CIGSIn a remarkable feat, scientists at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have developed thin film solar cells on flexible polymer foils with a new record efficiency of 20.4% for converting sunlight into electricity. The cells are based on CIGS semiconducting material (copper indium gallium (di)selenide) known for its potential to…. <read more>

Community Energy Update – Open Homes Training – Volunteer Training – Launch of Community Energy Fund

Dear Community Sustainable Energy Group member,

Just a brief note concerning some free training, apologies for the short notice.

There is some free training and limited mentoring support for setting up an open homes project, with sessions being held in Exeter and Poole. More information

Dorset Community Energy; a new renewable energy co-operative which Dorset County Council, Wessex Community Assets and a range of partners will be setting up in March/April 2013, with financial support from the Big Lottery Communities Living Sustainably project.

An information evening for community groups on the new co-operative is being held – to book and more information please follow the link below……

There is also some free training on the 5th February on managing volunteers for those involved in Voluntary Organisations.

@Also Energize Stur Valley are organising a conference on RE on the 16th Feb. More information @


Chair, Community Sustainable Energy Group

Dorset Energy Advice Centre

DEAC is a local not-for-profit organisation providing free and independent advice on fuel poverty, energy efficiency and renewable energy. We administer funding for local improvement schemes like loft and cavity wall insulation, and also for emergency heating repairs during the winter. We carry out energy surveys, using our thermal imaging camera, provide advice on lighting and condensation, and run a business mentoring service. We are also a qualified City and Guilds training centre and can deliver of training on a range of energy-related topics.

DEAC are excited to be attending the Sturminster Newton Renewable Energy Exhibition and Forum. We will be there with the SAIL (Safe and Independent Living) bus which offers lots of information about saving energy and space to sit down and chat about energy efficiency and renewable energy concerns or about changes in funding and the new opportunities with the Green Deal and ECO.

Call DEAC on 0800 975 0166 or contact or see