Sustainable Blacon provide information on household appliances as well as increase awareness on energy labelling
Blacon is a suburb of North West Chester, near the English – Welsh border, with approximately 16,000 residents. Blacon contains a mixture of private homes and substantial public council-built properties. Approximately 50% of the households are in top 10% for disadvantage in the UK with other areas more affluent.
Sustainable Blacon Ltd is a community based company limited by guarantee formed in July 2009 dedicated to promoting and developing Blacon as a model sustainable urban community. It is a subsidiary of Blacon Community Trust, a company limited by guarantee a registered Charity.
Low Carbon Community Challenge (LCCC) funding
The LCCC funding has been used for energy efficiency engagement and action within Blacon. The project aimed to show how simple changes can reduce energy use and damage to the environment.
The project has focused on two main strands
In Strand 1, two Demonstration Homes have been equipped with low carbon appliances and technologies to show residents how they can cut household energy consumption and CO2 emissions and demonstrating this with practical support. The homes are open to the public to visit.
In Strand 2, Blacon Energy Management Programme: three groups of households (150 households in total) have piloted different energy saving approaches. All participating households attended educational events focusing on energy efficiency, saving money, carbon, water, waste and home composting, and local foods and have received advice and support. One group has trialled passive energy monitoring equipment using the DIY Kyoto ‘Wattson’ monitors, whilst another group trialled more innovative technology to actively manage energy usage using the ‘Alertme’ system. A third group acted as a control group without technological installations. Sustainable Blacon is also assessing the relative values of the use of technology, education and social interaction to reduce emissions as well as the impact of the programme in terms of its social and community capital gain.
All participating householders received a household energy assessment. After the monitoring programme energy saving interventions will be installed, such as cavity wall / loft / internal solid wall insulation, energy efficient appliances and energy management devices.
The four key areas of Sustainable Blacon Ltd focus on improving the physical environment; encouraging and developing sustainable transport; implementing effective energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; and stimulating local enterprise.
To date, Sustainable Blacon has helped over 800 households become more energy efficient through offering advice on energy saving, and practical home support with tasks such as meter reading, or clearing loft space to make way for insulation. They are exploring a wind farm close to the Welsh border, and have had active involvement in regenerating the Blacon Greenway, which is part of Sustrans National Cycle Network Routes. Sustainable Blacon has also influenced development projects in the area.