On 21st March HHP provided the live location for Radio 4 programmes ‘You & Yours’ and ‘World at One’ as part of budget day.
Why? Well due to the expectation that the budget would include a number of ‘green’ measures to combat climate change. HHP were part of a panel of people asked to comment on the budget and in particular on any announcements by the chancellor to promote reduction in carbon use (or indeed what he did not annouce!).
Simon Tilley representing HHP gave a lukewarm response, welcoming insulation grants for pensioners, zero stamp duty for zero carbon homes, and support for renewables – but unhappy that aviation was not adddressed and that gas-guzzlers got away with meagre increases in VED.
Hockerton Housing Project (HHP) has erected a wind turbine to meet its energy needs. It is one of very few examples in the UK of a community owned wind turbine, whereby the owners are supplied directly with the ‘clean’ renewable energy produced. The occupants of houses have set out to meet both personal and global responsibilities to live in a more sustainable way. Wind energy is the most cost-effective and appropriate for the locality. The use of renewable energies in the daily running of the Hockerton Housing Project, demonstrates that ordinary families and individuals can take responsibility for and significantly reduce the output of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The grid linked 5kW (rated output) Proven wind turbine erected on a 26m tower is expected to produce around 12,000kWhrs annually with the wind conditions on site. The grid link will allow for both import of energy during periods of supply shortfall, and export for periods of excess energy production. The excess exported will offset most of the imported energy from the grid. The energy generated will not only be used to provide energy to the homes, but also to power the jointly own electric car – a wind-powered car!
Due to the very low energy requirements of the homes at HHP (about 10% of an average UK home), it is expected that the energy generated by the wind turbine will offset the vast majority required by the occupants. Any remaining requirements will be met by planned use of Photovoltaics (solar energy). This means that the homes will hopefully not be responsible for any of the polluting ‘greenhouse gases’, notably CO2, identified as being responsible for global warming and climate change. This qualifies the HHP development as meeting a number of the highest environmental housing standards in the UK, namely, Zero CO2 and Autonomous.
HHP was awarded over £10,000 from ScottishPower’s Green Energy Fund towards the cost of installing the wind turbine. Hammy Smillie, ScottishPower’s business and community relations director, said: “Not only will this project be an excellent example of how to make use of renewable energy in the home, it will also give the families the opportunity to contribute towards helping the environment. On a practical level, by using renewable technologies as a power source, the Hockerton Housing Project will save money and set a leading example in the UK.”
The successful completion of the houses is a result of five years planning, building and development. The launch day was an opportunity to celebrate our achievement and say thank you to all those who have been involved in the project.
It also marks the move towards the next phase of the project, the demonstration of sustainable living in practice. The focus for the project will now be to develop the trading company (HHP Trading Ltd), thereby providing an income for company members which is based on sustainability.