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2014 Sid Valley community receives funding for energy efficiency

Energy Saving Trust’s Ready for Retrofit programme supports energy efficiency in social housing, businesses and the community

Sid Energy, the Sidmouth community energy cooperative has received £1,600 from the Ready for Retrofit programme.

Community organisations across the South West have received £30,000 from the fund.

Under the scheme, run by the Energy Saving Trust, 14 groups will be able to run Energy Saving Open Homes Days and Energy Fairs throughout the year.  Earlier events have proved to be very popular, attracting hundreds of visitors. Sid Energy decided to apply for funding to build on the success of last year’s awareness raising events.

This year four ‘expert’ events will be run – including one that will use infrared technology to compare energy efficient buildings with unmodified ones.  Others include how to use a ground-source pump and the use of biomass pellets as an energy source.  The Ready for Retrofit grant will help fund the technical experts who will be on hand throughout the event as well as refreshments for visitors.

Derek Chant, Director of Sid Energy said:  “Recently we had a great deal of interest when we did an air pressure test on properties, which dramatically demonstrate how many ‘energy leaks’ buildings have.  We are looking forward to an even bigger interest in this year’s expanded choice of events.”

The £8 million three year Ready for Retrofit scheme funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is run by the Energy Saving Trust. It enables social landlords to apply for funding to retrofit energy efficiency and microgeneration measures to improve the energy performance of their homes. The programme also supports the local supply chain enabling businesses to become more competitive, improve skills and successfully achieve accreditations needed to bid for larger contracts.

Jon Rattenbury, Ready for Retrofit Manager said: “At Energy Saving Trust, we have been thrilled with the number of successful applicants. The response to these events, both from the local groups who have already received funding and from the wider community is always really positive. “We look forward to encouraging many more people to reap the benefits of energy saving through events running from now until the end of September.”

Hosted by the homeowners themselves, Open Homes Days inspire many visitors to introduce simple measures to reduce their energy consumption and bring down bills. They hear first-hand how they can save energy and money through retrofitting different measures or in some cases start micro generating their own power.

Energy Fairs feature local businesses that supply energy efficiency and microgeneration products and services.  Speakers provide information and demonstrations to visitors, who get the opportunity to find out simple tips and products that are easy to fit in their homes.

Groups who successfully bid for funding received up to £4000 for an Open Homes event and up to £1000 to run an Energy Fair.

Ready for Retrofit is a three-year project offering a new funding opportunity for social landlords in the south west of England (except Cornwall) to improve the energy efficiency of their existing stock. The aim of the project is to grow the local supply chain for low carbon building retrofit by stimulating demand and supporting local SME businesses, in order to create a sustainable domestic energy efficiency and microgeneration sector. We are also helping to grow the market locally by working with local authorities and community groups. For more information on Ready for Retrofit please visit

The following organisations have been granted funding under the scheme.