Here are some low and no cost ideas for communities and individuals that we are trying in Frome to cut emissions.
Reducing carbon in the community
Solar Streets: Local installer IDDEA is offering significantly discounted solar installations to local residents if ten or more sign up. IDDEA are keen to do similar offers in other areas, email IDDEA to find out more.
Commercial Offer: companies such as Green Nation can install free solar on commercial roofs and offer building users a significant discount.
Community energy: if there is a community energy organisation in your area find out more about what they are doing and see if they can provide free community owned solar panels on local buildings. This works particularly well on community focused organisations such as medical practices and sports clubs.
Cut carbon at local schools: encourage local schools to sign up to Energy Sparks. It’s free to join and provides real time information on energy including out of hours, as well as curriculum-led activities to help reduce costs and carbon.
Cut carbon and methane from food: does your area have a community fridge? Frome’s fridge saves over 90,000 items and 130 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year. Hubbub run the national community fridge network and offer support for new groups to set up. Find out more on the Hubbub website.
Electric charge points: Zero Carbon World can provide free chargers on commercial and community buildings (but don’t cover installation or metering). We are working with Book My Charge to encourage people with domestic charge points to share and cover their costs and to enable people to book charging sessions. Companies like Raw Charging can provide EV charge points for free in areas where usage will be high. Raw Charging cover all costs, users pay via their phone or card and Raw do a profit share once utilisation has reached a certain point – they do however, need an exclusivity agreement as part of this.
Car club: talk to car club providers such as Co-Wheels (who are a social enterprise), about having hybrid vehicles available for hire. One car club car displaces around ten privately owned vehicles on average and are often lower emission too.
New developments: if there are large developments planned in your area it might be worth talking to the Microgrid Foundry. They work in partnership with community energy organisations to install solar, batteries and a microgrid to maximise renewable generation on site.
Reducing your personal carbon footprint
Switch energy supplier: this saves on average £200 a year and the green energy companies such as Good Energy and Ecotricity are now very competitively priced – they also do green gas now too. You can compare prices impartially at Bigcleanswitch.org
Contact the CSE’s free home energy advice line: call 0800 082 2234 to find out about any grants or to ask any energy-related questions. Frome also has a team of energy volunteers – if you, or someone you know, are struggling to pay energy bills do get in touch.
Join Frome’s car club: affordable, convenient and low carbon. Perfect if you need access to a vehicle now and again. Use promo code Frome109 to get £1 membership and £25 free driving credit at co-wheels.org.uk/frome
Active travel: for those shorter journeys, consider leaving the car at home and walk or cycle. If Frome’s hills seem a bit daunting, why not hire one of our EBikes – only £5 for half a day.
Buy less, borrow more: Pop into the UK’s first Share shop on the Bridge and see what you can borrow. The average drill is only used for 13 minutes in its lifetime, so sharing tools, toys, leisure, catering and other equipment is a great solution. Most items are only £1 or £2 to borrow for a week.
Join a lift-share: cut journey costs and carbon: https://somerset.liftshare.com/
Improve Don’t Move: take a look at Frome’s Green Directory to help make your home or more comfortable and green. Even small changes, such as draught proofing, or thermal blinds – can make a big difference.
Keep in the loop: join Sustainable Frome’s mailing list to find out what green events and projects are happening each month. They also have free workshops on the first Thursday of the month exploring each of the One Planet principles.