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 Centre for Sustainable Energy (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. CSE can also advise on what support people 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 are working with other partners to explore opportunities for hydro power along the river Frome and Anaerobic Digestion for local farms.
- We have invested in the Cheese & Grain to generate energy (through installing solar panels) and save energy (by improving draught-proofing, creating more natural light, installing LED lighting and tap sensors). In recognition of this investment, the project was awarded a prestigious Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice in 2014.
- 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’ve co-organised 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).
- In 2014 we won Most Proactive Public Sector Body in Regen South West’s Green Energy Awards and were shortlisted as ‘Outstanding Project of the Year’ by the National Association of Local Councils.
- 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. 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’.
The key questions explored were: How does Frome propose to meet this challenge? What would Frome need to do to increase renewable energy production 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?
You can also watch part 1 of the Fossil fuel free Frome webcast here and part 2 of the webcast here.