Home Energy Initiative
One sixth of the UK's climate-heating emissions come from running our homes - that equates to an average 10 kilograms of climate-damaging gasses from Hungerford's homes EVERY DAY!
The cost of heating homes and hot water has increased 100% in the past year alone. and heating bills are set to increase to over £4,000 per annum for a typical household from January 2023.
To help every household cut their bills and reduce climate-changing emissions, HEAT is organising the
HUNGERFORD HOME ENERGY SHOW
on Saturday 24th September from 10am to 4:30pm
in Hungerford Town Hall - Admission is FREE.
SPEAKERS ON SPECIALIST SUBJECTS will be presenting at various times during the event:
|1||10:45||13:30||Taking a Whole Home View||John Downe||HEAT volunteer|
|2||11:30||14:45||Stopping Energy Waste||Ken Neal||Building Design Consultant & Draughtbuster|
|3||12:15||15:00||Heat Pump Retrofit||David Hilton||Heat & Energy Consultant|
The presentations will be in the Magistrate's Room on the ground floor, each followed by a Q & A session. Admission free, on a first come basis.
The sessions will be chaired by Shingai Chipfupa of Newbury Building Society who are sponsoring the Speaker Programme.
Also at the show there will be stands where you can find out about:
- DRAUGHT PROOFING
- SOLAR ENERGY
- HEAT PUMPS
- FINANCING YOUR PROJECT
INDEPENDENT FREE ADVICE will be available and you will be able to read several LOCAL CASE STUDIES describing neighbours' projects.
As if that wasn't enough, there will be an opportunity to get LOW-ENERGY COOKING TIPS and have a play with SOLAR-POWERED TOYS.
NB: HEAT has already run several informative talks about Home Energy in 2022 - see our Information section for links to videos of the talks.
Hungerford Repair Café is a joint venture between HEAT and Rotary Club of Hungerford.
Repair Cafés aim to help reduce waste, encourage the sharing of skills, and bring a community together. People can bring along items which are broken and have them mended by someone who knows how to fix them (if possible).
Items to bring include electronic appliances, machinery, textiles and woodwork. You can also bring along garden tools that need sharpening or bikes in need of repair.
Cake and refreshments are available too! Look out for the posters around town advertising the next one.
If you have repair skills and would like to volunteer as either a fixer or helper, please get in touch.
Cycling is a great way to get around, to keep fit, and to protect the environment. There has been a big uptake over the past couple of years.
HEAT aims to make Hungerford a place where cycling is easy and encouraged, rather than an inconvenience, and will be taking action in the coming months to bring about positive change.
Each year HEAT aim to plant more and more trees in and around the local area. We have planted trees at local schools, on Town and Manor land, and on privately owned land where landowners have come forward to offer their land and ask for our help.
We source trees from the Woodland Trust, and organise bands of volunteers armed with forks and spades to help plant large areas of land over the course of a morning.
Maintenance sessions then follow a couple of seasons later to ensure the saplings are growing well.
Whatever the weather, it is always a fun and worthwhile activity for all ages.
In 2019, HEAT supported Hungerford Primary School to help every pupil plant a tree.
In 2020 HEAT were involved with planting over 1000 trees in and around Hungerford.
Do you have some land where trees could be planted?
If so, please do get in touch and we will be happy to help organise a planting event!
Do you have fruit trees producing fruit which does not get used? Let HEAT know and volunteers will come to pick your fruit. Most of this will be sent to be pressed and bottled locally, with some bottles going to the Food Bank and others made available for local community groups to sell.
Would you like to volunteer to pick? It is a great way to spend some time with new people or as a family, so please get in touch and we will be happy to hear from you.
In the past few years, volunteers have helped to pick countless crates of apples from Hungerford and surrounding areas, including Picket Mead Orchard. The fruit was donated to West Berkshire Foodbank, and given to my Apple Juice to be pressed into juice. This has helped reduce food waste and helps to make the most of our local resources.
What's in the orchard?
- Over 100 trees - several rare and unique varieties
- Around 25 mature apple & pear trees
- Plum trees
- Treehive & beehive
The Hungerford Town & Manor are looking for someone (or a group of people) to manage Picket Mead Orchard longer term. Please send us an email if you would like to help run the orchard.
See our Current Projects Information section for more details on each of our current projects.
Electric Vehicle Show - July 2021
On 3rd July 2021, hundreds of people attended the Electric Vehicle Show on the Croft in Hungerford. The event showcased over 30 types of electric vehicle, including cars, vans, scooters and bikes.
About half belonged to local people who were happy to explain how they make ownership of an EV work for them.
There were also commercial exhibitors with their new EVs and plenty of information on hand to help answer questions.
Sparkling Streams - 2021
Hungerford Town & Manor have worked in conjunction with ARK (Action for the River Kennet), North Wessex Downs AONB and the Southern Farmers group covering several miles of the rivers Shalbourne, Dun and Kennet.
Coppicing of local Hazel trees was required to make faggots from stumps and brush wood. The Hazel will grow back to full height within 3-4 years. The faggots were used within the river restoration project, protecting the banks and creating habitat as they fill up with silt and vegetation. A vast number are used every year within the rivers to mitigate erosion caused by cattle, crayfish and scouring.
A group of about 30 local volunteers helped with this project over a couple of days in 2021.
Electric Vehicle Questions & Answers - February 2021
We have all become familiar with powering our cars with petrol or diesel fuels which we have buy at great expense from forecourt pumps. However, when we contemplate our cars being entirely electrically powered using the electricity already in our homes and rechargeable batteries, many new questions crop up.
Conscious of these questions and keen for more of us to eliminate our exhaust pipe carbon emissions and enjoy the quieter, smooth and lower running cost world of electric vehicles (EVs), HEAT ran the "Any EV Questions Show" on 3rd February in collaboration with West Berkshire Climate Action Network.
61 households joined the 90-minute Zoom-based video and chat event with a panel of existing EV users plus several others willing to share their experiences and lots of people itching to ask questions and find out more - many of whom were already in the process of considering an EV as their next car.
Electric bicycles, vans and camper vans were also covered during the event as well as the best electricity tariffs to be on and how solar panels can work with EV charging.
Among the EV topics discussed were:
- Would you go back to a petrol/diesel car?
a universal NO from EV owners!
- How much is the annual road tax on EVs?
- Which EVs can take me to London and back on one charge?
- Can you have a car charger installed at home, before the car arrives?
Yes, with a £350 grant
- Can I carry a roof rack?
One owner carries canoes on his EV and another bikes, but as with traditional cars wind resistance will reduce range
- Is car range affected by weather?
Yes, batteries perform less well in the cold
- Where can I buy a used EV?
There are growing numbers of EV specialist car dealers
- What happens if you run out (of battery)?
Some car insurance policies and new car warranties provide recovery to a charger, the AA are starting to carry chargers in their vans
- How long does charging the battery take?
It depends on the car, the charger being used and how low the battery is
- Isn't the engine quietness dangerous for pedestrians, especially if visually or hearing impaired?
Legal requirement now for low speed noise-makers on EVs - as drivers you are more aware of this and take extra care in built up areas
- How do hills affect range?
On the way up just like getting a lower MPG, but on the way down you actually top-up your battery - unlike your petrol tank!
- ...and many, many more questions!!!
Hungerford's Lockdown Woods - December 2020
On Saturday 5th December 2020, groups of (socially distanced!) volunteers planted more than 800 tree saplings on Westbrook Down, an area of Freeman's Marsh in Hungerford.
A first group of 30 volunteers arrived shortly after 9am when the planting began, and were followed up by another group of 15 or so volunteers at 11am. By 1.30pm, all the trees had been planted.
Westbrook Down is an area of land owned by the Town and Manor of Hungerford, and was offered by them as a space where these trees could be planted, following the necessary felling of several established ash trees suffering from Ash Dieback.
The event was organised by HEAT alongside St Lawrence's Church and Friends of the Earth (Newbury). Most of the tree saplings were provided by The Woodland Trust, however volunteers also brought along saplings which they had nurtured in their own gardens.
Native tree species planted included Hawthorn, Goat Willow, Hazel, Downy Birch, Damson, Blackthorn, Walnut, and Crabapple.
See our Completed Projects Information section for more details of our previous projects.