Buildings and Energy Group meeting minutes - May

Minutes of Buildings and Energy Group   held   Tuesday 17th May 8-10pm


Present:  Tom Wright, Phil Leask, Nick Hartley, Siobhan Cross, George Latham, Armstrong Yakubu



Actions arising:


1)      To produce a leaflet on energy saving (see below).  Nick, Tom, Siobhan.  Chris Wells to help with design.

2)      A talk to be arranged at St.Anne & St. Andrews, Salusbury road, 1st half of July on the Victorian Passivhaus.  Armstrong & George.

3)      Draughtbusting: Sarah Nichols to talk on this subject.  George to arrange. Work towards launching series of draughtbusting workshops in autumn.

4)      Simplified home energy surveys – NH to report back.

5)      Phil looking into setting up an Ecoteam -

Next meeting:  8pm, Thursday 16th June, 20 Hopefield Avenue.


NH reported a conversation with Seb Beloe of Berkhamstead TT:  They had done some home energy surveys

(presumably based on a simplified version of the SAP); one of their members was qualified to do this and had trained others. Householders were then referred to the Energy Saving Trust who at the time were offering discounts on loft and cavity wall insulation.  Unfortunately EST no longer do this and are being merged with another quango. They had also produced two leaflets, one on energy saving devices and the other on the financial benefits (or otherwise) of the FIT (Feed in Tariff) for solar PV.  They are planing to work with local estate agents to include energy advice with the home information packs acompanying property sales.


(NH said that the current SAP document – 204 pages with 55 for the spreadsheet and notes was impractically long.  A cut-down version should be available – he will research this.  Siobhan was concerned that producing SAP reports might deprive local contractors of the business).


GL had made a survey of other Transition group websites, reckoning that the main activities in this area are:

Education, Home energy efficiency, Renewable sources (inc. for schools), Links with local businesses and Audit training.   He reported that Sarah Nichols of Belsize TT was working practically full time on draughtbusting and training others to do this;  ultimately, this is a prime aim: to help create green jobs.

He also mentioned “Ecoteams” (see website), a kind of environmental weight watchers (Carbon watchers?), where local residents come together to aid and abet carbon footprint reduction. The 10:10 scheme

Remains active too.


Tom commented that Brent ‘Green Zones’ had been discontinued owing to lack of funds.


GL said that Brent FOE were interested in collaborating on a joint meeting on how to access the FIT.

Phil said he had PV panels installed on a SE facing roof by “Ethical Solar” based in Grimsby.  Installation had only taken a day and it was now generating some £20 a week.


Armstrong (an architect ) mentioned a Victorian house in Sheperd’s Bush which has been upgraded and accredited to Passivhaus standard (essentially low to zero energy consumption through insulation, solar gain and airtighteness with heat recovery) .  The owner would be willing to give a talk to us on how this was achieved.


There was a general discussion on the cost-effectiveness of the various energy saving/ renewable energy generating methods and agreement that draughtproofing and insulation, unsexy as they might be, are far out in front and therefore essential before proceeding ‘up the pyramid’ to more capital intensive projects.


NH talked a bit about electricity saving in the home; how the many wallcube chargers, oven clocks, TV recorders consume tens of Watts 24/7 and that can amount to as many £s a year on your bill. ( Solution:

Switch off/unplug/use ‘Intelliplug’ type devices.)


It was suggested that we produce a basic factsheet listing ways & means of reducing or eliminating energy wastage, in plain language, for handing out at stalls, meetings etc.


GL said that Careen Hertzog is organising the adapting of two bicycles to generate electricity for recharging mobile phones, running a radio, etc.  KTKTT would inherit these. Useful for demonstrating the effort needed for even a few Watts.




Further dates for diaries:


Wednesdays 6th or 13th July:  film: ”The economics of happiness” by the New Economics Foundation followed

                                                                                                by AGM in the constitutional club next door

Sunday 11th September:  Queens Park Day inc. TT stall

Friday 9th October: Harvest festival with ‘Cut-a-Shine’ band (as last year)

Saturday 15th October: Harvest festival supper.


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