January 2012 Newsletter

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
2. Local food and efficient energy use
3. AGM
4. Energy Savers at Home – Open Homes events in Feb and March
5. Roots and Vines
6. The Green Deal is coming
8. Outspoken Radio!
9. ‘Which’ Energy Supplier?
10. DARE (Devon Association for Renewable Energy)
11. The ‘Green Thing’
12. Forthcoming Dates

1. Green Drinks – come and have a natter each month!
February Green Drinks – come and join our Valentine’s Day Green Drinks on Tuesday 14th February (19:30 till 21:30) at the Market Inn, corner of Whitchurch Road and Pixon Lane in Tavistock.

2. Local food and efficient energy use
On Thursday February 9th at the Parish Rooms in Tavistock we are holding an interesting evening of presentations and discussion addressing the importance of local food production and the links between food and efficient energy use.

Paul Sousek from Cottage Farm, Jacobstow was a finalist in the BBC Food and Farming Awards 2011 for Farmer of the Year and has recently appeared on BBC’s Countryfile. Paul will be sharing his family’s journey over the last few years in their development of Cottage Farm.

Paul Sousek & Adam Henson (BBC’s Countryfile)

Home at Cottage Farm

Cottage Farm (www.CottageFarmOrganics.co.uk) is a sustainable organic carbon neutral farm powered by renewable energy producing organic beef and lamb. London and local deliveries are by carbon neutral transport.

If you’re a local producer, smallholder or growing out of your own garden or allotment please come along and bring pictures, posters and/or examples of your produce! We’ll also be joined by Rosie and Paul from Wonnacott Farm and Laura and Jim from Tregillis Farm who’ll be sharing their experiences.

The door will be open from 19:00 for refreshments and a chance to chat and meet local producers.

The evening will also include TT’s AGM (see below). These formal proceedings are expected to be very short!

A flyer is attached and we look forward to seeing you. For more information see www.transitiontavistock.org.uk or contact Kate Royston (07969-569444; kate.royston@robbeesmole.com) or Chris Simpson on 01822 614917.

3. AGM
A further reminder of the Transition Tavistock AGM: this will take place on Thursday 9th February 2012 at 7.30 pm at the Parish Rooms. Only paid-up members will be allowed to vote at the AGM – membership costs just £1 (although larger donations are of course welcome) and you can join on the evening. If anyone would like to stand for the committee please let our co-ordinator Chris Simpson know on 01822 614917. We will be looking for at least two new committee members, and would be particularly glad to hear from anyone who has experience with websites and/ or social media.

7.00 pm on 9th February 2012 at Tavistock Parish Rooms

1. Apologies
2. Minutes of AGM of 11.2.11
3. Matters Arising
4. Annual Report
5. Accounts
6. Election of Committee Members
7. Any Other Business
8. Date of next AGM

4. Energy Savers at Home – Open Homes events in Feb and March
Thinking of reducing your bills by conserving energy or generating it from a renewable source?
As mentioned last month, Transition Tavistock & the Tamar Valley AONB are organising two days (Sun Feb 12th and Sat Mar 10th) when the public can visit homeowners to see what they have done, talk to an impartial owner about the costs and benefits, and consider how energy conservation and generation measures might work in their own homes.
Sunday February 12th will cover homes in Tavistock and its villages. The day will start at 10:00. An introduction to the homes available to visit will be held at New Generation Energy’s showroom at Crelake Industrial Estate in Tavistock for those who’d like to start with a general overview. A programme of available homes will also be available in advance by 4th Feb at www.transitiontavistock.org.uk to help with your planning. You can visit homes individually or join one of the tours we’ll be arranging (you may need to book a place). Some homes may be available through the day 10:00 until 16:00 to drop in and others may be limited to morning or afternoon.
New Generation Energy’s showroom will be open throughout the day for advice and to answer any technical questions you may have. We are also hoping to arrange to have refreshments available.

Saturday March 10th will be centred at the Tamar Valley Centre, Drakewalls, and at private homes throughout the valley. The day will begin at 10am with some short inspirational talks about how you can install energy conservation and renewable energy generation into your home. Advice from recommended local suppliers and installers will be available throughout, and the day will conclude with a talk about community renewables from somebody that has already done it – Stephen Frankel from Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (http://www.wren.uk.com/)!

If you’d like to have a programme emailed to you, would like to sign up for one of the tours, or you’d like to open your home … please contact Kate (kate.royston@robbeesmole.com, 07969-569444) or Simon (sbates@tamarvalley.org.uk, 07792-484049).

Cordiale is a European project managed by the Tamar Valley AONB
(see http://www.tamarvalley.org.uk/projects/cordiale/)

5. Roots and Vines
A new shop specialising in locally sourced produce is opening in Tavistock on 1st February! It’s called ‘Roots and Vines’ and is situated at 12 West Street (the corner shop that used to be ‘Tilly Whims’). This is an exciting development that deserves our support. Find them at http://www.rootsandvines.co.uk/ and also on Facebook; contact numbers are 01822 616818 and 07760 994451.

6. The Green Deal is coming …
The government are expected to launch the Green Deal in the Autumn of this year. A consultation process is currently ongoing to work out the scheme’s ‘finer details’.

Terena Plowright from The Greening Campaign (www.greening-campaign.co.uk) has this to say about the importance of the Green Deal:
The Green Deal could be one of the most influential policies to come from government in the past 30 years. It could change our economy, offering jobs to the building sector and energy efficiency innovators, reduced fuel bills to the general public and business, it could lift millions of people out of fuel poverty, it could dramatically reduce our CO2 output, and it could make our homes more comfortable reducing pressure on the National Health Service. Finally, it could also provide incentives for other measures around sustainable living and behaviour.

The Green Deal focuses on all the existing property that people live and work in across the UK. Our properties are amongst the worst in the western world at managing energy efficiently.

The Green Deal is designed to ‘put consumers back in control’, upgrade all property in the UK and reduce carbon emissions whilst creating a large new market to drive business and economic growth. Without costing the consumer a penny!

People cannot act on energy reduction because they cannot afford the upfront costs – this scheme removes the obligation on the property owner to pay for the work upfront because the payments are made via the savings that take place.

Quick facts
o No upfront cost to the consumer
o Once the work is done your bills will reduce and the repayment is added to your electricity bill.
o The energy bills are guaranteed to reduce from the first year.
o There is no credit check.
o All work is warranted – both labour and product.
o A qualified assessor will tell you the best measures for your home to reduce your bills
o There is help in the form of an ECO (Energy Companies Obligation) to help those in hard to treat houses and those in fuel poverty.
o It is not a personal debt; it is tied to your building not you!
o It is for a maximum of 25 years

The Green Deal could provide a significant opportunity for community groups to come together, working with local assessors and providers. Transition Tavistock and others are looking into this. We’ll provide an update next month as well as explaining the Green Deal process.
If you’re interested in joining a Green Deal working group please get in touch (Kate (kate.royston@robbeesmole.com, 07969-569444).

7. Community Design Workshop
The summary of the Community Design Workshop held in Tavistock on the 10th December is now available at http://www.westdevon.gov.uk/doc.asp?doc=18184&cat=3287 for anyone interested. The purpose of the workshop was to enable members of the community to provide ideas for the design of the new development areas off Callington Road and Plymouth Road.

The meeting was well attended and at the end there was a general feeling that as a community we should follow this up. Clearly documenting the factors we consider should be taken into account in the design of the developments may be a positive contribution together with supporting the process and keeping a watchful eye on how the design principles hold up!

An open meeting is being planned to discuss this, and will be announced shortly. If you would be interested in attending please let us know (transitiontavistock@googlemail.com, tel: 01822-835819) and we’ll make sure you receive the meeting details.

8. Outspoken Radio!
Hello, I’m Wendy Ball and I do an internet radio show on www.eatmusicradio.com. The show is called The Outspoken Show, and is broadcast live online every Friday evening from 5-6pm. There is also an archive of previous shows on the website. The aim of the show is to Inform and Inspire on local (and sometimes global) social and environmental issues. Most weeks, we have a guest to interview, and if anyone would like to be a guest and get their topic heard, please get in touch wennawoman@yahoo.co.uk

Many thanks,

(The programme of Friday 13th January featured an item on the Plymouth Food Charter.)

9. ‘Which’ Energy Supplier?
We have often promoted Good Energy as the best supplier of sustainable electricity. Personally we wouldn’t consider the Big ‘6’ producers such as EDF (Electricite de France). EDF are a foreign company with nuclear power as part of their folio.

Now ‘Which’ in their ‘Which Energy Supplier in 2012’ report have just published their Best and Worst energy suppliers for 2012. Good Energy tops the list at No1 with Ecotricity at No3. Good news for sustainably sourced energy supplies.


You’ll notice that EDF comes in at 13th only just beating Npower as the worst on test!

Adrian & Sue Hepworth

10. DARE (Devon Association for Renewable Energy)
Dear All,
The end of 2011 saw major changes for the technical services department of Energy Action Devon. As part of a major restructuring at EAD, the decision was made to close their Technical Services department altogether, making those employees redundant, including the original DARE staff. This team are determined to ensure the continued provision of independent technical energy services and consequently have resolved to resurrect DARE to continue providing the excellent service that we are so proud of. Many of you will be familiar with DARE which has been offering impartial and independent advice and assessment services for energy related projects for over a decade prior to the EAD merger.

We are very excited about the opportunities for DARE and our committed, experienced and professional staff team.

DARE provides free telephone and email advice on renewable energy. It also provides Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency scoping studies on a commercial basis for domestic, industrial, agricultural, public and community buildings.

Other larger scale assessment services are offered including community scale renewable energy projects.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you think we can be of any help.

Many Thanks
Kirsty Tooke
Development Manager
DARE 12 A/B The Square North Tawton EX20 2EP
Tel: 01837 89200
Email: kirsty@devondare.org

DARE will be exhibiting at the Energy Savers at Home event at the Tamar Valley Centre, Drakewalls on Sat. Mar 10th.

11. The ‘Green Thing’
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day. Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every shop and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.
But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the county of Yorkshire. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank water from a fountain or a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country. We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn’t expect that to be bucked by flying it thousands of air miles around the world. We actually cooked food that didn’t come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.
But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.
But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Thanks to Sarah Berry for this contribution!

12. Forthcoming Dates
February 2012
Local Food and Efficient Energy Use: Presentations & discussion
Including Transition Tavistock AGM. Thurs Feb 9th

Energy Savers at Home: Open House energy event
In Tavistock & Area Sun Feb 12th

Green Drinks Tues Feb 14th

March 2012
Energy Savers at Home: Open House energy event & exhibition
Tamar Valley & Tavistock Sat Mar 10th

Green Drinks Tues Mar 13th

Tel: 01822-835819
c/o Tavistock Taskforce
Unit 2, Pixon Lane Trading Centre
Devon PL19 8DH