May 2014 Newsletter

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Welcome to this month’s Transition happenings in Bath…

May Newsletter

New look website!

Transition Bath has a brand new website – check it out on and let us know what you think! Find out what we’re up to on the new Group pages. You can also now easily change your subscriptions to the Transition Bath newsletter and individual Group mailing lists from our sign-up page.

An enormous thank you to Iva Carrdus, Jan Watterson and everyone else who contributed so much hard work to creating this fantastic new website.

Bath Green Homes confirmed for 2014

Following the success of our Open Homes Weekend last year, we’re delighted to confirm that we will be running a similar event this year on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September. Please put this date in your diaries!
We are currently recruiting home openers! Do you have energy saving improvements in your home you’d be willing to share with others? Measures could be low cost or high tech, with your home new, old or listed – it doesn’t matter! What we’re looking for is your story and experience.

Paul Stansall, who took part in last year’s Open Homes Weekend, said “It was hugely worthwhile. We met new people and had lots of interesting conversations. We’d love to take part again”.

To register interest please complete our online survey – or contact us on or 01225 477528 to find out more. Bath Green Homes is a community project supported by Transition Bath, Bath & North East Somerset Council & Bath Preservation Trust.

Big changes at the community nuttery

Our thanks to joinery students from City of Bath College who spent two days cutting back trees in the long “hedge” which hadn’t been managed for many years. They used the materials to build brushwood fences where there were gaps in the hedge, a wattle fence around the lane drain, three saw-horses and a pile of wood for future use!

Housing Survey: Results

A big thank you too to everyone who completed our housing survey – more 160 people completed the survey following its publication on our last newsletter email in March and via an article on the Bath Chronicle.

Highlights of the survey results include:

  • Affordable homes with good transport links were the top priorities, closely followed by low energy homes.
  • More than 98% of you stated it was right for B&NES to impose higher standards on builders than minimum building regulation standards.
  • Respondents were prepared to pay on average an extra £6,200 for low energy comes, or an average of £57 extra per month if renting.
  • There was a very clear preference for the use of renewables in our electricity generation with very few favouring coal or shale gas. 98% would also be happy to use a local community owned energy supplier.

A detailed write-up of the results of the survey are available on our website, here.

Energy Group: Planning and consultations

The Energy Group has had a busy year commenting on government regulation, planning applications and consultations.

We are keen that the 12,700 homes to be built in B&NES over the next 15 years are built to the highest possible standards from a sustainability perspective. However the current coalition government is trying to prevent local councils from specifying higher standards. Unfortunately the government is attempting under the Deregulation Bill to stop councils specifying more sustainable standards. The impact is significant as it potentially doubles the carbon emissions of the 12,700 homes to be built in Bath – equivalent to 60 MW of solar PV or 10 large wind turbines.

Given the scale of the impact we feel it is something worth fighting for and in our recent survey more than 98% of you agreed. Regrettably we feel we may be fighting a losing battle but would appreciate it if you have any thoughts and ideas about how we can support the council in its battle against the planning inspector and national government? More information about the issue is provided in an article on our website.

LED Lighting Project: save £75 off your electricity bill!

Did you know that you could save more money, energy and carbon by replacing your halogen down-lighters with LEDs, than you might save be replacing double glazing with triple glazing? And, it would be a lot cheaper, costing from as little as £50 compared with the £15,000 cost of installing triple glazing?

The Transition Bath Energy Group has recently launched a new project to persuade people to replace their halogen lights, as we feel that the quality and light-output of LED down-lights is now equivalent to halogens. With costs as low as £1 per bulb and paybacks under a year we feel that everyone should be looking to replace their halogen lights.

Given the potentially bewildering choice of halogen lamps and to aid you in making this change Transition Bath can loan you a demonstration pack, which includes 20 different types of halogen lights which are available to borrow free of charge to allow you to test them in your own home.

If you are interested in borrowing the ‘demonstration pack’ or getting involved in the project, please contact us at or find out more on our website, here.

£6,000 grant to install solid wall insulation

Its suddenly got a lot cheaper to install solid wall insulation. The government has announced from June that grants of 75% of the cost of solid wall insulation up to £6000 will be made available. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to install solid wall insulation cheaply, so if you have been thinking about it but not taken any action you may want to investigate further?

More generous subsidies for other retrofitting measures have also been announced as part of the same program including new boilers, double glazing, door replacement, cavity wall and flat roof insulation, and replacing storage heaters.

Contact group convenors if you’d like to get involved, plan an event or start a project: