Church-goers, scouts and lobsters gain from measures

Community Chest closes after successfully helping hundreds

2 August 2011

From scout huts to lobster hatcheries, in the final count more than 30 community groups across the South West of England, and South and West Wales, were supported in reducing their buildings’ energy consumption, thanks to an initiative from CSE and Western Power Distribution.

Offering grants and free resources, the £50,000 Western Power Distribution Community Chest scheme saw groups carry out a variety of different actions to improve their efficiency – from installing insulation and draught-proofing, through to replacing old and inefficient appliances, with shiny, new ones.

Louisa Haines managed the scheme for CSE.

“A simple, cost-effective measure like installing loft or cavity-wall insulation is relatively cheap, but can be a big outlay for a community group on a tight budget. But installing it can have a big impact on bills. So this scheme aimed to help those groups to take simple but effective energy efficiency measures in order to have a big and lasting impact.”

In Wales, the Uzmaston and Boulston Community Project successfully applied for a grant of around £1,000 to regenerate and refurbish their church hall, allowing the group to double-glaze one large window and put new double glazing on the back door, saving around 0.46 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Another group that received support was the National Lobster Hatchery in Cornwall, who received a similar grant to allow them to replace thirty-five spotlights in the visitor centre with energy efficient alternatives, replace the fridge with a smaller more efficient model, replace the faulty washing machine with a new energy efficient model and put water-saving device in the toilet cisterns - saving approximately 3.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

And In Stoke Gabriel, Devon, the local community put in applications for three buildings – the village hall, the church and the scout hut, and were successful with all three. In total they received funding of around £1,500 to install roof and understage insulation in the village hall, roof insulation in the church, and draught-proofing and low-energy lighting in the scout hut. They estimate this will save them around 1.64 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Caroline Snow from Stoke Gabriel wrote: “Thank you so much for the grants received for our community buildings in Stoke Gabriel. This will enable us to carry out some essential work and immediately improve the energy efficiency of our most used community venues. And it is also a great boost to morale within the community.”

To find out more about the scheme, check out the project profile here.

Thanks to the National Lobster Hatchery and Wellington Bowls Club for the imagery.

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