Residents get control of electricity use

22/09/2010 at 1:18 pm | Posted in 10% in 2010, Home Energy saving | Leave a comment

Fifteen residents in Hallam St, Balsall Heath, have today been presented with free electricity monitors by EDF Energy. The company is sponsoring the upcoming Birmingham Half Marathon, which will run down their street on 24th October. A video will appear on the website, where more details of the Run can be found.

The ‘Ecomanager‘ is new, in that it both measures the electricity use of a number of applicances in your home and allows you to switch them all off, preventing waste from things being left on ‘standby’. Studies have found that people can save 15% of their electricity just by being aware of how much things are using. On sale from EDF
Balsall Heath Is Our Planet will be offering the residents help and energy advice sessions.


15,000 cyclists in Balsall Heath

21/09/2010 at 1:07 pm | Posted in Cycling | Leave a comment

Congratulations to everyone who helped to organise or took part in the Sky Ride on 12th September. The roads were cleared to allow a huge parade of cyclists of all ages to go up the Pershore Road into the City Centre.
This proves that people really do want to cycle, if they can be given safe routes, free from the danger of traffic. It also proved that there is a lot of vacant road space on Sundays in central Birmingham. A similar route is to be closed for the runners of the Birmingham Half Marathon on Sunday 24th October (details)
Does every street in this city need to be open to traffic every day? Some continental cities shut some streets to traffic like this every Sunday. It would be a major attraction, completely safe streets.
Balsall Heath could be the obvious place to make the experiment from Cannon Hill Park to the City Centre.
Here is a link to a video of the Sky Ride

Light Evenings, please

20/09/2010 at 11:35 am | Posted in 10% in 2010 | Leave a comment

For hundreds of years, we used to get up with the sun and go to bed when it got dark. Electric light then encouraged us to stay up much later in the evening. There is a national campaign in the UK to move all the clocks forward one hour throughout the year. This would put our activities back into line with the sun, adding an hour of daylight to the evening. We did this in both World Wars and again in the 1970s, to save coal.

Studies show that we would all save on our electricity bills, by putting the lights on one hour later. Solar power would be more useful. People could get home from work before dark, for more evenings . They would feel safer in the light evenings to walk, cycle, take exercise and use public transport. Fewer children would die in street accidents. We wouldn’t miss the hour taken from early morning, when most people are asleep. There would be no real cost to most of us.

The national 10:10 campaign has led on the issue , as it would be an easy way for us all to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we produce from burning fuel.

A Bill is to come before Parliament in the autumn calling for a review of the benefits and a trial period. To see more information, you can visit the website Lighter Later.

Two Great Events

03/09/2010 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment

The Great British Refurb

Can we make our older houses energy efficient, reduce fuel consumption, use solar power?
A community workshop and tour of my house in Balsall Heath with practical examples and useful information to inspire you to make your own home fit for the future. Learn about my experience with a solar roof this summer.
Sunday 19th September 11am to 4pm
Please book places by email letting me know how many and whether at 11am, 12am, 1am, 2am or 3pm
NB small terraced house and on street parking John Newson 0121 449 3977

Event supported by Great British Refurb, Old Home Super Home, Energy Savings Trust and Balsall Heath is our Planet)

AND The Most Energy Efficient House in Birmingham is having an Open Day on Tuesday 14th September 12am to 3pm. This house has no external heating, no gas and no boiler; water and electricity from the sun. Zero Carbon House.
One day all houses could be like this!
How does it do it? The architect and owner will be giving free tours and explanations.

All welcome from 12am to 3pm at 103 Tindal Street, Balsall Heath B12 9QU Website; Zero Carbon House Birmingham

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