Harbury Energy Initiative
Harbury Energy Initiative (HEI) was launched in January 2010 as an informal low carbon group with a constitution and link to the Parish Council. Over the years HEI and Harbury e-Wheels, the charity it created, have been successful in accessing many grants to enable village projects to be realised. Since then HEI has led projects to:
- support our village hall through the HEI member on their committee to modernise and upgrade insulation and heating to reduce energy use
- insulate our community library and cafe with internal wall insulation
- carry out and publicise EPCs on a range of domestic buildings from different periods to illustrate the importance of energy efficiency
- work with the school on 2 village energy surveys and the writing of ‘Earth Poems’, presented at an event and published for parents and others to see
- insulate our Rugby Club clubhouse cavity walls and roof
- install LED lighting throughout the village school
- install LED lighting in the Scout Hut
- install 12kW array of solar panels on the school
- install a 19kW battery in the village hall together with a solar energy generation monitor for the public to view
- bring an electric car club to the village (now discontinued)
- use these cars to create a free social transport scheme, now a registered charity called Harbury e-Wheels; the charity now rents two electric cars for its exclusive use
- create the Low Carbon Warwickshire Network (LCWN), a local network of mainly rural communities with the aim of sharing ideas on practical carbon reducing and environmental measures and of stimulating new groups and activity
- promote a 'No Idling’ message to drivers on air quality in key areas of the village
- encourage and support the Parish Council to acknowledge the climate emergency and form a working group to deliver practical change
Current projects involve joining with the Parish Council and other villages in tree planting as part of the Queens Green Canopy project, supporting the local church in a major retrofit to modernise the heating and lighting, and installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging station in the village, part powered by renewables.
This latter project, Harbury Future Energy (HFE), gained Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) funding for Stage 1 and 2 and is currently awaiting planning consent. The installation will comprise 4 x 22kW charging and one at 50kW; a linked 80kW battery will allow energy storage.
HEI is now working with Warwickshire County Council on submitting this as part of the county bid to the government Low Emission Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) fund. Subsequent to the forming of the Parish Council Standing Committee, HEI is closely involved in supporting the development of a climate action plan.
HEI has also held three public engagement events to raise awareness of the issues and solutions, as a result of one of which 12 households added battery energy storage to their PV system.
Details of the history and activity of HEI and associated organisations can be found at www.harburyenergy.co.uk