Can an entire village be decarbonised? Trial scheme at Littlebury might give us the answer

Littlebury’s favourite son, Gordon Ridgewell, sends us the following tale from the village, where a pilot energy scheme is being trialled…

What would be needed to decarbonise a whole village? This is the question it is hoped will be answered by a project taking place in Littlebury.
Littlebury Parish Council has been asked by Essex County Council and Uttlesford District Council to take part in a pilot project to find out how best to reduce the energy used for home heating.
This is especially important in villages like Littlebury where most people use heating oil, and prices can vary a lot.
First steps in the Littlebury Energy Project are:

  • Sending a questionnaire to all homes so there is better information about the village.
  • Undertaking detailed analysis of 10-15 homes of varying types with the parish to understand what is needed to improve energy use.
  • Collating all the information to provide a full report.

Saffron Walden Community Energy and Community Energy South are helping Littlebury Parish Council deliver the project. The aim is to develop a plan to help Littlebury residents move away from fossil fuels.
There will be discussion with UK Power Networks to understand what electricity grid changes might be needed and look at how heat could be produced in future. The project will also act as a blueprint for other villages.
Initial results were presented at an open day on April 23 at the village hall, where there was also the opportunity to meet solar-panel and heat-pump installers, discuss energy savings measures and what funding might be available.