Introducing Wolverton Community Energy
A new project aimed at helping the Wolverton community generate renewable energy and become environmentally sustainable has been established.
Wolverton Community Energy aims to install solar PV panels on the roofs of industrial and community buildings throughout the Wolverton area, including the local schools. The surplus will be invested in energy efficiency across the Wolverton community, helping vulnerable people keep warmer, and reducing fuel bills.
The project was incubated by Future Wolverton, but is now legally separate. To find out more visit the Wolverton Community Energy website http://www.wolvertoncommunityenergy.uk/
Why is Future Wolverton working on energy projects?
In 2010 when Future Wolverton undertook a consultation process to refresh the 20-year ‘Vision’ for Wolverton, one of the clear priorities to emerge from local people was their concern about personal energy use and climate change. For this reason, the new 5 year Action Plan included a specific section on energy. The ‘Future Wolverton, Future Energy’ project is helping us deliver that part of the Action Plan.
Why is energy use a particular issue in Wolverton?
Wolverton’s centre is made up of a series of streets, laid out in a grid pattern, of Victorian redbrick terraced houses. Other residential areas, including a large number of 1930s semi detached houses, have developed around this central core.
Many of the town’s 3,200 residential properties have solid walls. This means they cannot be insulated with cavity wall insulation and can be difficult and/or expensive to heat. This is one of the reasons why Wolverton has one of the highest levels of fuel poverty in Milton Keynes (according to the MK Affordable Warmth Strategy).
Following a successful application to the Department for the Environment and Climate Change in 2012, Future Wolverton and MK Christian Foundation were funded to begin the creation of an Energy Efficient Demonstration Home. Located on Buckingham Street, the house has solid wall insulation fitted throughout, and energy efficient appliances. We hope to introduce more measures as funding allows. This initial funding also supported the first Future Energy Show in the town which took place in March 2012.
The partnerships that developed during the course of this project have created further opportunities for the Future Energy project.
In the Autumn of 2012, Milton Keynes Council agreed to set aside £25,000 of “Carbon Neutrality” funding for specific use in Wolverton. This money was used to support an information campaign about Solid Wall Insulation which took place in October 2012. The remainder of the funds will now be available as grants to local residents to encourage the installation of solid wall insulation or floor insulation in Wolverton homes.
In January 2013, Future Wolverton was asked by the National Energy Foundation to take part in another project to promote the Government’s Green Deal. Specially trained volunteers carried out simple home energy surveys with Wolverton residents to establish if they could take advantage of the Green Deal.
Forty three Wolverton residents went onto have a full Green Deal Assessment carried out on their homes, enabling them to be in a position to take advantage of the Government’s Green Deal programme.
In 2014/15 Wolverton was fortunate to be included in project to install Solid Wall Insulation in hard to heat Victorian terraced properties, funded by the then Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
Over 40 households in Wolverton benefited from grants of up to £6,500 per household* to help with the cost of installing solid wall insulation.
The grants were available to both owner-occupied and private rented properties, and all the work was done by an approved company working with Milton Keynes Council.
For further advice and information about how to make your Victorian home more energy efficient it’s worth visiting www.myterracedhouse.co.uk