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Shrinking the footprint in Cotteridge

Cotteridge Meeting has a problem: a 1960s all-electric Meeting house with a rising electricity bill, energy guzzling lights, some single glazing and solid walls. We have now double-glazed most of the windows and installed (at a cost of £13,000) an air-source heat pump which converts 3kW of electricity into 9kW of heating. Within the next month we will replace our eighteen 150W spotlights with low energy 20W spotlights, adding wall lights to compensate for their slightly lower output (c. £400). We also are about to dry-line our solid walls with 65mm thermal boards, saving at least fifteen per cent more energy (c. £1,500 plus donated labour). Over the next few years we hope to extend these improvements to the rest of the building. Finally, when our felt roof needs replacing, we will sandwich a thick insulation layer between the old and the new roofs. It would be pleasing at that time to cover some of our south-facing roofs with photovoltaic solar panels generating at least some of the electricity needed to power the heat pumps! Harriet Martin Cotteridge Meeting

Sustainable Stafford

What does ‘sustainable’ mean and how do we bear witness to sustainability? Stafford Meeting is looking at these questions and at how we support sustainability now and in the future. Most of us immediately think ‘green’ when we hear the word, but how do we make our community emotionally as well as physically sustainable? It is difficult to separate the one from the other. How can we exclude people from society and still be sustainable? Several Friends are active in Stafford Prison, supporting a Meeting for Worship and bible study sessions. This group is looking at ways of supporting ex-offenders so they do not reoffend. Without peace how can communities flourish? We support the West Midland Quaker Peace Education Project and Faslane 365 blockade. Transport is another major concern and Friends are working with other groups to prevent the M6 being widened. And we all feel strongly about trade justice, so we plan to become a Fair Trade Meeting. Nigel Peckett Stafford Meeting

Micro-CHP (combined heat and power) for Sheringham Marlborough Climate Pledge

Our old overhead radiant electric heaters were inefficient and produced a very poor standard of thermal comfort. A new gas-fired ‘Whispergen’ micro-CHP unit generates both heat and power, feeding surplus electricity back into the grid. Centralised power generation produces large amounts of waste heat. The European Union Cogeneration Directive, 2004/8/EC encourages combined production of heat and power, but the challenge is to find simultaneous uses for them. Micro-CHP, a relatively new development, offers a possible solution. Our meter readings suggest that the overall energy use of the building is now within the requirements of the 2006 building regulations. The feedback into the grid in effect compensates for areas where we could not fully upgrade the thermal insulation. Whispergen is only available as a unit producing 8kW heat and 1.2kW electricity (additional power needs can be drawn from the grid) and is only suitable for small Meeting houses, but larger units are available. Michael Woolliscroft Sheringham Meeting

Marlborough Friends discussed action on sustainability and decided the best way forward was to support initiatives in our local community. This year, five local activists organised the ‘Marlborough Climate Pledge’, a meeting to inform local people and ask them to pledge at least one action to reduce climate change. Michael Meacher was the main speaker and our town hall was packed. After his talk we were invited to take an eight page booklet listing actions that we could take to reduce CO 2 emissions, save money and improve the quality of our lives. We were asked to pledge to one or more actions. The seventy-five forms returned that evening contained 350 individual pledges, and many more have since come in. The meeting was followed up with a newsletter, website, another speaker event and bi-monthly meetings where smaller groups come together to discuss ideas, difficulties and actions. Now a group is working on evaluating the pledges. Copies of the Climate Pledge booklet can be downloaded from the website: Rachel Rosedale Marlborough Meeting

the Friend , 5 January 2007 5

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