Dear <<First Name>>,
Row of cartoon houses
Wirksworth Transition Community Land Trust

house in tree logo
Charity number 1178158
Newsletter 4 - July-August 2021

Link to our website.
In this issue
Our local news
Thinking about an Air Source Heat Pump?
Dutch Innovative Housing
Brassington houses get a green upgrade
Useful links
Our Board
Annual General Meeting - 7pm, Tuesday 20 July

Join us on Zoom to hear from Alison Clamp (Peak District Rural Housing) and John Youatt (Youlgreave Community Land Trust ) about successfully building affordable houses in Youlgreave. We will send the link, annual report and other papers to members shortly.

We are pleased to report that we now have two members attending our Board meetings to consider becoming trustees. We have had other offers of assistance too, which we are very grateful for.

We have also added a list of trustees at the end of this newsletter, which will be there, updated for every issue.

For your diaries

The Churches Together group plan to hold an Eco Fayre after the Farmer’s Market on Saturday, 2 October, where local environmental groups will have stalls with information and products and be available for discussion.
Keep an eye out  for the Great Big Green Week, 18 to 26 8eptember, a national week of events celebrating action on climate change including in Wirksworth.  Find our more. Click here.

More on builders in or near Wirksworth

We are in the middle of our survey to create a Builders Register of local builders interested in undertaking energy efficiency work, eg retrofitting. We are being told that builders are currently already booked up for months ahead - not for energy efficiency work but for new kitchens, extensions, and other typical home improvements. A local builder has told us, The Covid restrictions are easing, but people have got money. They can't yet go on holidays abroad so they seem to be using the money on their houses.

We still would like to hear about any builders (from anywhere) who did a good job for you. Please give us therir names and contact details on
Energiesprong UK - A key player helping to deliver hundreds of zero carbon homes.
Energiesprong is a Dutch initiative created to deliver net zero energy homes, using technologies such as prefabricated facades, insulated rooftops and renewables. Their
ground-breaking approach is to present a funding model as much as it is a retrofitting standard. 

          Dutch retrofitted terrace of houses
Pilot scheme in Sneinton, Nottingham, after using the Energiesprong approach

Energiesprong retrofits are financed by future energy cost savings plus savings to the budget for planned maintenance and repairs over the coming 30 years.  Following successful pilot schemes across the UK, including their first scheme in Sneinton for Nottingham City Homes.
Click here for more information.

Adding panels to a house     
        A prefabricated facade being installed to a Energiesprong retrofit. 

Energiesprong UK have now been successful in two Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) funding bids.  For further information on their successful bids and other retrofitting projects then click here or visit their website.

Brian Hebron,, one of our trustees, installed this heating system in his house back in 2013. Here's what he says he would consider if doing it now.

I probably wouldn’t start now but wait for the government to bring in more support - by 2026 we should be there.

ASHP is still a niche industry I expect costs (about £7 to £13,000 depending on various factors) will fall as the technology becomes more mainstream. Octopus Energy are reported to have said that it expects to nearly halve the cost within 18 months. Up until March 2022, you may qualify for a grant under the Renewable Heat Incentive. One of our members, Rosemary Blenkinsop, wrote in Issue 2 of this newsletter about her experience of getting an air source heat pump and included details of the grant she got.

A coalition of businesses, green groups and anti-poverty campaigners has called for an upfront grant – similar to those for electric cars – that covers the full cost of heat pumps for low income families and brings it down to the same cost as a new boiler for other households, to drive the rollout.

Another option could be a financing package where your heat pump and energy are provided by your supplier and you pay a monthly instalment to reflect that – rather than an upfront cost.

Because radiators used with heat pumps operate at a lower temperature than with gas, you might need to swap out a few of the oldest, single panel radiators your home might have to ensure they are big enough to heat the room sufficiently. They can normally be replaced with double or triple panelled radiators that fit in the same spot.

Underfloor heating works very well with heat pumps as it operates at a lower temperature than radiators, so it will continue to work if you have it, or if you are doing a wider refurb you could think about putting it in but it's not essential.

air source heat pump

Do you save money from running one? While there are some “time of use” tariffs which allow people to use the electricity for running their heat pumps when it is off peak and therefore cheaper, most people will not be saving money at the moment. Unfortunately, although heat pumps use much less energy to create the same amount of heating, electricity is around three times the price of gas.

The reasons for this disparity is due to history. Subsidies for renewables were brought in to help the electricity, so there are higher environmental levies on electricity than gas, adding 23% to electricity bills and less than 2% on gas. Now that the grid is much greener than it was, the pressure is on the Government to rethink where those levies fall. They could shift some of them onto gas which would make no difference to the average dual fuel customer, but there would have to be measures to make sure fuel poor households who struggle to heat their homes already do not suffer more. Or they could move them into general taxation.

Contingency plans for emergencies? At the moment, if your boiler breaks, you probably just ask your plumber to replace it as quickly as possible. A clear policy about phasing out boilers would tell people that a change is coming, so they could have conversations with their plumbers during the annual service about the alternatives for old boilers that will soon need replacing.

Check out the consumer magazine Which review!  Find out more here. 

Seven homes in Brassington have had a green upgrade, including solar panels on the roof and new air source heat pumps for central heating. The fuel bills will be lower.

The project – which began in April - was made possible by Green Homes grant funding under the Local Authority Delivery Scheme (Phase 1B), in a joint bid with Derbyshire Dales District Council.

The total cost of the works was £126,000; it was part funded by the non-profit landlord Platform Housing Group.

     Brassington village
          Photo by Jerry Evans


New links for this month

Retrofitting historic buildings?


Mayfair pub

Grosvernor Group, one of the largest privately-owned international property companies, has recently outlined plans to become a net-zero business by 2030 and earmarked £90m to retrofit and 'future-proof' its portfolio of buildings across London, then England, most of them historic. But it needs the governent to align heritage and sustainability with the new national Planning Policy Framework, and include policies for carbon reduction in relation to all designated heritage assets, excluding scheduled ancient monuments.  Click here.
   1840's Running Horse pub     

Centre for Alternative Technology

CAT, in Machynlleth, Wales, was established in the 1970s and has been at the forefront of mapping how we can move
Centre for Alternative Technology in Welsh countrysideto a zero carbon economy. Now they have created a Resource Hub -  Freely available online inspiration, tools, reports, guidance, training, webinars and more, to support your action on net zero.

And for CAT's advice about Whole House Retrofits, CLICK HERE.

Research to transform the energy demand landscape

CREDS, the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, has done some very interesting research. Click here.

Our Board
Ivan Dixon
Brian Hebron (Secretary)
Mary Ann Hooper
Kevin Mann (Treasurer)
Peter Walton
Mike Whittall
Vacancies: 4
Find ALL our newsletters here.
You can sign up here for the newsletter even if you are not a member.

If you know someone who might be interested in this newsletter, please forward it to them, using the link below called Forward to a Friend.

(Don't forward the newsletter email directly - it might unsubscribe you.)


Our Facebook page
Our website
Copyright © 2021 WirksworthTCLT, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.