The Chale Community Project’s aims are:
- To increase energy efficiency and self sufficiency in all areas of village life – Energy, Transport, Waste, Food, Water, Events
- To help to reduce fuel costs in Chale
- Create dialogue, discussion and action in sustainability
- Build on Chale’s great community spirit
- To work out what makes a successful sustainable community
- To share our experiences and to enable other communities to learn from them
In December 2009, Chale found out that it was lucky enough to have been selected as one of only 10 communities in UK to benefit from funding for a project to become a low carbon community.
With the help of some extra funding from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and South Wight Housing Association, the Project’s primary aim will be to save energy and water in homes in Chale, resulting in reduced fuel costs. The Project will also cover other key aspects of village life – such as Food, Health, Transport, Waste and Events – and look at ways to make Chale as energy-efficient and self-sufficient as possible.
Important elements of the project are:
1. Home visits:
As part of this exciting project, everyone in the Chale area is being offered a free home visit to assist them in reducing their fuel bills. The “Warmer Chale” team are experts from the Island-based Footprint Trust. During these visits, homeowners are given basic guidance on how to reduce their energy bills, whilst staying warm. They can also highlight if anyone is eligible for grants for free cavity and loft insulation along with new efficient heating systems. Anyone wanting to arrange a free home visit can contact the Warmer Chale Team on 01983 822282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Pilot Project in Spanners Close:
Part of the funding will go towards a retrofit of 67 houses and flats in Spanners Close which will be a showcase for renewable energy technologies (see Technologies section – put link here). Technologies installed will include:
- An Air to Water Heat Pump to provide hot water for a central heating system.
- New water radiator system heating which will replace night storage heaters.
- Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panels – these will help to reduce the electricity bills for the occupant and the intention is for any excess electricity generated to contribute to a Chale Community Fund (see below) which can be invested in renewable energy technologies for the wider community in years to come.
In addition to these new technologies, more effective doubleglazing and additional loft and wall insulation will be provided where necessary.
The aim is to reduce the energy cost in each home by up to 50%.
3. The Chale Community Fund:
One groundbreaking feature of this project is the intention to create a Community Interest Company (“CIC”) which will manage a dedicated Chale Community Fund for future sustainability* projects. The CIC board will be comprised of Chale residents and the Company will receive funds from the current Feed-In Tariffs (“FIT”) and the planned Renewable Heat Incentive (“RHI”) for renewable energy technology ( Photo Voltaic Panels and Air Source Heat Pumps ). The funds will then be distributed to a range of sustainability projects in line with the Chale Parish Plan and could include everything from improvement of local services, other renewable energy technology and schemes to promote local produce.
a. the ability for Chale to increase its self-sufficiency in terms of utilities, food, water, community cohesion and transport infrastructure
b. a movement away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources
4. Training for jobs in the renewable energy industry:
Creating local employment opportunities is one of the key goals of the project.
Chale residents can apply for a 3-month renewable technology training programme with the objective of providing a range of job prospects with local installers. Working alongside the official MCS Accredited installers on the Project, the volunteers will learn plumbing, electrical skills, work with heating engineering and cylinder installations. They will receive accredited training in BPEC Renewable Energy Technology at the Isle of Wight College including some other skills training and job search advice. While there are no guarantees of jobs, trainees from previous schemes have gone on to secure work in the industry. The renewables sector is set to be a growth area in the new low-carbon economy.
5. Discounted bus travel from Southern Vectis:
Southern Vectis are supporting the Chale Community Project and have kindly offered to provide return bus travel from anywhere in Chale between the Church and Star corner to anywhere on the Island including any changes of bus that might require. The initial deal is available to anyone and will run for 6 months when there will be a review so please use them as much as you can!