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Sunshine At Schools in Salford With New Energy Scheme




A Partington community centre as well as three schools in Salford and are to be fitted with solar PV panels after a community share offer reached its fundraising target.

Primrose Hill Primary in Ordsall, Irlam Primary School and Fiddlers Lane Community Primary School will all be fitted out with solar panels this summer. The Fuse community centre in Partington will also have solar panels installed later this year.

The sites will benefit from lower electricity bills as a result of the clean energy being generated from their rooftops.

The environmentally friendly scheme expects to save 50 tonnes of carbon emissions in the first year alone.

A total of £186k was needed to fund the scheme, which was raised through a community share offer. Members were invited to invest in the scheme from as little as £100.

Any profits from the generation of electricity will be ploughed back into a community fund, which is then used to support eco-friendly projects.

The sites will also be used to teach young people about climate change and the benefits of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The scheme is run by volunteers who have set up community benefit societies – Greater Manchester Community Renewables (GMCR) and Moss Community Energy.

They received grants to develop the project from Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Urban Community Energy Fund and Unicorn Grocery, based in Chorlton, Manchester.

Ali Abbas, Director of GMCR, said:

This is a fantastic achievement. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us to get to this point. We were oversubscribed with share applications, which is incredible.

“If people are interested in supporting community energy then there are a number of schemes across Greater Manchester that are currently looking for investment.”

NPS Solar, based in Oldham, are contracted to carry out the work. Ben Nuttall from NPs said: “NPS Solar is proud to have won the contract to work on this community energy project.

Not only will installing solar panels generate more green electricity, it will also generate awareness of the benefits of renewable energy within the local community.

“We are pleased that this project is not just about saving money, but also about helping the next generation see renewables as part of everyday life.”

Find out more about Greater Manchester Community Energy Pledge at :

The community energy projects :

Community Energy GM is made up of 18 organisations including Deeplish Community Centre in Rochdale, Hulme Community Garden Centre and Disability Stockport. They are all raising funds to install solar panels, which will cut carbon, boost budgets and benefit local residents.

Oldham Community Power is working with Oldham Council to install solar panels on the roofs of schools and community centres. Their mission is to ensure that Oldham’s young people have the opportunity to get involved in the renewable energy sector. Oldham Community Power is also working with the Government on a new community energy apprenticeship standard.

Moss Community Energy has been fundraising to install solar panels on Fiddlers Lane Primary School in Irlam. It aims to install renewable energy in Salford, which will generate an income to work for community benefit and education and to support people in fuel poverty to control energy production and usage

Greater Manchester Community Renewables launched a share issue to fund the installation of solar panels on three primary schools – Primrose Hill in Ordsall, Irlam Primary and Fiddlers Lane (in partnership with Moss Community Energy) – and The Fuse, a community hub in Partington. As well as saving money on their bills and reducing carbon emissions, GMCR will also provide its partners with educational support, and surpluses will be used to fund eco-friendly projects in the local area.

St John’s Sunshine is a voluntary community group in Old Trafford, which is harnessing the energy generated from the sun for the benefit of the community. Having installed solar panels on the roof of the church the profits generated from the Feed in Tariff are then used for community projects.

Bury Community Hydro is a team of four environmental activists from the Bury area who have come together to build an Archimedes screw turbine on the River Irwell at Chamberhall. The hydro plant will be community owned and run, and will supply clean, renewable electricity to local emergency services headquarters. The co-op already has over 30 Pioneer members and will be launching its main share issue over the coming months.

Biomass Energy Co-op is looking for members to support a project, which will achieve exciting advances in a new green technology for the UK market. With your help, BEC plans to provide biomass energy solutions that promote the sustainable use of waste products for heat and micro-power generation.



Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?



sustainable wood burning ideas

Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?

Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.

Is Biofuel Green?

One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.

Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?

Homegrown Technology

Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.

Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.

Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.

Benefits Of Biomass

The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.

Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.

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7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees



As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.

After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:

Financial Advising

One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.

Life Insurance

While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.

Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies

Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.

The Ability To Work Remotely

It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.

Health Insurance

Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.

Unlimited Time Off

This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.

A Full Pantry

Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.

Final Thoughts

Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!

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