When the Teme Valley Environment Group was formed in 2006 one of the first things was to look at the energy use in the town. A measure of the energy used in a selection of homes, public buildings and businesses was carried out to get an approximate carbon footprint of the town. This showed us how much energy was used and therefore how much money was leaving the town to pay for it! It was £4million from the Knighton area alone! This process was supported by the Environment Agency and Powys Environment partnership and was a format developed by the Wasteless Society in Bishop’s Castle.

The carbon footprint of Knighton was 25% higher than the national average due to old building stock, less mains gas and a higher than average use on transport. Action needed to be taken:

* Step 1: We ran two Affordable warmth days with 140 people attending; demonstrating a real need by the people of Knighton for information and advice on energy saving.

* Step 2: Saving energy can be quite simple and very cost effective. But it needs good quality advice delivered direct to the home to catalyse action. The Energy Efficiency arm of TVEG brought a Household Energy Service in to the valley. This is run by volunteer surveyors visiting clients who request a Household Energy Survey. After carrying out the survey they would send all the information to Lightfoot Enterprises, who run the service, where a qualified Energy Officer would write a report for the client prioritising and suggesting action to reduce energy use and save money. Lightfoot Enterprises continue to support the client and are always available for advice and further information. This service is still very much available and a new coordinator is about to be appointed. To register for a FREE survey contact HES.

* Step 3: After saving energy comes making renewable energy. TVEG are hoping to look at this in the future. A woodland project is being set up and one of the aims is to grow and manage woodland for renewable energy.

To encourage yourselves and others to reduce your useage of water, electricity and gas you might want to join a national measuring process called imeasure. To sign up to imeasure, go to and follow these instructions.

* Click on register
* Enter your details, click on create new user
* Log in with your user name and password
* Complete your profile with the details of your house
* Enter the date of your earliest reading
* Click on meter reading and “set up your meters” you need to know and enter details of your water, gas and electricity meter and what unit they measure in. Confused? See Appendix 1A on meter reading (opens in new page).
* First enter the details of one meter click “enter details”, the meter will appear below
* Add the other meter using the same method
* Add meter readings – go to meter readings section, read your meters and put the units in. If you get stuck see appendix 1A on meter reading
* Keep a weekly log, and watch the graphs change!

The Energy Bill is currently going through parliament.  For more information the UK Energy Crisis leaflet is downloadable here with a summary here.
There is also a draft letter to David Cameron here.

On March 28th some members of Tveg met Roger Williams to discuss the Energy Bill and how we can reduce fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency locally. Roger has signed up to the Energy Bill Revolution and also signed Tim Yeo’s amendment to the Energy Bill. This amendment requires the UK government to commit – by next year – to decarbonising the UK energy supply by 2050. This amendment is vital, as without it, there will be no incentive to invest in renewable energy production or improve household and industrial fuel efficiency. As it stands, the amendment does not mean any particular course of action will be followed – but without it, the chances of following the route of fuel-efficiency and more investment in renewables are slim. Apparently Roger was hauled before the Chief whip because he signed the amendment which shows how far the Lib-Dems have strayed from their supposed commitment to sustainable green policies. Please if you have not already done so, lobby the Energy Minister Ed Davey.