Energy

Could Frome become one of the UK’s first clean and healthy towns by moving away from fossil fuels?

On 21st September 2016 Frome Town Council voted unanimously to set a ‘fossil fuel free’ by 2046 target. This has now been superceded by our climate emergency resolution, however, the reasons to act and the ways we can do this are still useful: Fossil Free Frome – discussion document (PDF, 7MB) and scenarios of how we could achieve the target are available here: a-clean-healthy-future-for-frome-final-Sept-2016 (PDF, 2.2MB).

Cutting costs and carbon

Here are some of the things we’re doing to help cut costs and carbon, reduce fuel poverty and make the town more energy resilient:

  • Working in partnership with Frome Renewable Energy Co-op (FRECo) to work with the Microgrid Foundry and the development team to explore opportunities for a net zero carbon heat network and microgrid at Saxonvale.
  • Working in partnership with CSE we have a team of energy volunteers who do regular advice sessions and can visit vulnerable homes to help them cut their energy costs.
  • We keep people informed about insulation offers and grants when they are available. Winter Warm Bundle can help you work out what support you might be eligible for.
  • We have use of a thermal imaging camera to pinpoint areas where local homes are leaking heat
  • We work with FRECo and a team of energy specialists to support local schools to cut carbon and costs, engaging and empowering the students and staff to support this. We are currently working with Selwood Academy, Frome College and St Johns Primary School.
  • We put solar panels on the Cheese and Grain saving 560 tonnes of carbon dioxide and helped them switch to low energy LED lighting.
  • We have worked with Fair Frome, Frome Renewable Energy Co-op and others to tackle fuel poverty, enabling 250 people to switch energy supplier and save on average over £200 a year.
  • We helped organise Frome Open Homes to showcase ways to cut carbon and costs. The event was attended by over 600 people, 97% of whom said they found their visit inspiring and useful.
  • We co-organise regular events such as – Improve Don’t Move and One Planet Sunday.
  • We are a founding member of Frome Renewable Energy Co-op (FREC0) who raised £300,000 in just five days through community shares in May 2015. They have now installed 150kw of solar on Frome Medical Practice and 50kw on Frome Football Club’s new community stand (which we also helped secure funding for).
  • We are working with other partners to explore opportunities for hydro power along the river Frome and Anaerobic Digestion for local farms
  • In 2014 we won Most Proactive Public Sector Body in Regen South West’s Green Energy Awards and have been shortlisted as ‘Outstanding Project of the Year’ by the National Association of Local Councils for this work.

Switch to a Renewable Future In March 2016 we held two days of workshops with our European partners  entitled ‘Switch to a Renewable Future’ as part of our twin town programme. The events were attended by more than 300 people. More information on this including films and presentations are available at www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/switch

Clean and Healthy Future: on 21st July 2016 Ex-President of the Maldives Mohammed Nasheed joined us to discuss how Frome can move towards a ‘clean and healthy future’.

Fossil fuels including oil, petrol, diesel, coal and gas, pollute the air we breathe, produce harmful emissions and cause serious environmental and social damage. The UK government has committed to moving away from fossil fuels by 2050. The key questions explored were ‘How does Frome propose to meet this challenge? What would Frome need to do to increase solar, wind, biogas and hydro energy and insulate more buildings? How might this lead to more local jobs, local investment, homes that are easier to heat and streets that are less polluted?’

Other speakers included Professor Richard Pancost of the Cabot Institute, Mark Letcher from Climate Works and Anna Francis from Frome Town Council. Notes from the group discussions are available View the notes from the group discussions (docx, 15KB).

You can also watch part 1 of the Fossil fuel free Frome webcast here and part 2 of the webcast here.

With many thanks to the Cabot Institute for their support.