Energy saving ideas outlined

Wednesday, 15th September 2021, 12:19 pm

A public meeting, attended by over 30 people from local businesses, organisations and representatives last Wednesday, heard the findings of a feasibility study which St James Church secured funding for in the summer.

Robert Haskins, who is leading the Greening the Heart of Wetherby project on behalf of the church, said: “Helen Sprakes and Steve Anstice from Environmental Strategies Limited (ESL), the consultants who are carrying out the project, introduced ESL and discussed the progress made so far.

“Steve discussed his survey findings from the three main church buildings including key considerations, such as the high ceilings and stained glass windows.

“And he outlined the potential opportunities including installing a range of renewable technologies such as solar PV on the roof; de-stratification fans to help push the heat back down from the high ceilings; insulation improvements to the building walls and roofs and replacing the single glazed windows with double glazed windows.

“All of the above will reduce the energy currently being used and reduce the carbon emissions.

“These ideas would be set in order of priority and more research and development would take place.”

When the grant was announced in June, organisers said that it was hoped that Wetherby residents would get involved.

“Our aim is to find out how we can best achieve a carbon neutral situation for everybody in nine years’ time,” Mr Haskins said.

“The Church of England’s target is to be carbon neutral by 2030, and we hope others will follow suit.”

Speaking following last week’s public meeting, Emma Wheeler-Osman, Assistant Project Manager for Environmental Strategies Ltd said: “Our representative, Alan Millar, from the North East and Yorkshire Energy Hub, discussed in more depth the Rural Community Energy Fund and projects which have been carried out by community groups across the country.”

And St James’ vicar Canon Reverend Brendan Giblin, emphasised the importance of achieving the 2030 target.

Mr Haskins added: “The planet depends on us all doing our bit, therefore a checklist was provided which is designed to be used at home or at their businesses with the aim of creating an action plan to reduce their energy use and carbon emissions.”

Central government’s Rural Communities Energy Fund, is handing out grants to help encourage rural communities to improve their energy use.

“That means less reliance on oil and gas and more on green energy such as wind and solar power,” said Mr Haskins.

“The biggest energy use at St James’ is heating but lighting and kitchen appliances will be looked at as well, possibly car charging points.”

The Greening the Heart of Wetherby aims to involve people across the community and will be holding an Eco Fair on Saturday October 2.

Anyone who would like more information about the project, should contact [email protected] or visit the Eco Fair at Wetherby Methodist Church, 10am-4pm.