Big Clean Switch to Renewable Energy

09/03/2018 at 2:01 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power | Leave a comment

This is a simple way to switch your home or business to a supplier who only buys renewable energy, so people in Balsall Heath may want to consider it. The latest figures from the government show that 30% of electricity is now being generated from renewable sources; wind, sun, water etc – YES they do work! Why would you want to pay for dirty fuels? Climate Action West Midlands will use any money it makes from the switching to fund small community carbon saving projects. Clean Energy Switch can be accessed via the site

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Open session at Zero Carbon House

18/01/2018 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Community energy, Home Energy saving | Leave a comment

It was the most energy efficient house in the country when it was built, right here in Balsall Heath. A house with no bills and no radiators or gas supply! How do they do it?

Following a recent BBC programme, the house will again open to visitors on the morning of  Thursday 1st February, 11am to 1pm. Please book a place if you want to visit. More details at the website ZCH

If you cannot visit on this day, then there is a lovely video about the house

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The Zero Carbon House

Living on the Sun

11/07/2017 at 12:44 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power | Leave a comment
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At the roasting start of July, John Newson led a walk to visit some community buildings that benefit from solar panels. The walk took place during Community Energy Fortnight and the Moseley Festival. We were greeted at the Old Post Office building by Fiona Adams of Moseley Exchange, who explained how they benefit by the cheap electricity from the two solar arrays there, which belong to Community Energy Birmingham. The next stop was St Mary’s parish church, where John Dowell who is a former churchwarden, showed us the display inside the church of all the power produced over 6 years, since the panels were installed by British Gas. That was part of their Green Streets programme, which had been won by Sustainable Moseley and it also paid for panels at the Hamza Mosque, where we arrived to be shown around by Saifer Rehman. He had a most interesting story to tell about solar generation, with LED lights to cut consumption, and a range of water saving methods, as well as cycle stands put by the main entrance.
We agreed that there is one sun for everyone and all can benefit from using renewable energy !
To learn more about Community Energy Birmingham visit their website

Hamza Mosque

Solar Walk

27/06/2017 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power, Walking | Leave a comment

We will be holding a walk to look at some community buildings that are acting as power stations. Community Energy Birmingham is joining forces with Balsall Heath Is Our Planet to hold the event on Saturday 8th July. We start at 11am from in front of the Post Office in Moseley Village. Our tour will include that building and the parish church and Hamza mosque, which all generate electricity for local use.
Many people do not realise how much solar power is being used already, and what a great potential there is on all the roofs of the city to make clean electricity for the future.
As usual, please let us know if you are coming, or just turn up. No charge. The walk will last about 90 minutes and we shall see inside of some buildings as well meet people from the organisations who benefit from cheap electricity.
John Newson bhiop[@]jericho.org.uk see CEB website
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Free Energy Advice event

24/10/2016 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Community energy, Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment
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Balsall Heath is our Planet, a local charity, is offering free energy advice.
What changes can you make at home to save heating, electricity and water? Generate your own? Switch to a green supplier?
We shall have a stall on Sunday 30th October at the Moseley Road Baths Watch Day from 10am to 5pm.
See also the historic Baths in the centre of Balsall Heath and learn about their past and future. A good time to discover the ORT café opposite and the new Pocket Park on Moseley Road – a good day out in Balsall Heath!
‘Making a Change’ with lottery funding. See you on Sunday John Newson
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Faiths Support a Low Carbon Future

05/08/2016 at 12:40 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power, Walking | Leave a comment
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People from a variety of local faith groups will be walking through Balsall Heath and Moseley on Sunday 14th August 2016 to see what has been done to cut carbon emissions and conserve the atmosphere. They will start at 2pm at the Birmingham Buddhist Centre, and visit Balsall Heath Church Centre, the KSIMC mosque Clifton Road, then the Zero Carbon House.
A greta opportunity to see what has been done and hear what inspired people to make these buldings into examples for the wider community. Details of the walk are at Footsteps (Faiths for a Low Carbon Future) faith groups in Birmingham respond to the challenge of a low carbon future. Details at Footsteps site
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Shares still on offer for Solar Roofs

22/09/2015 at 12:52 pm | Posted in Community energy, Solar power | Leave a comment
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People are still applying for shares in Community Energy Birmingham’s solar roofs. This is a local society for the benefit of the community, of which i am an unpaid director, and they have 3 solar roofs on community buildings, with another 3 in Moseley and Sparkbrook ready to install. CEB is only £15,000 short of its target to install all the roofs and wants to reach that total soon, in order to beat the government’s threatening review of the Feed in Tariff payments which may make such projects far more difficult. The message is read the prospectus quickly and get in touch with CEB if you are thinking of joining those investing £250 to £10,000. The estimated return is 4% per annum. See B’ham Post

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Is time running out for solar?

17/09/2015 at 3:27 pm | Posted in Community energy, Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment
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Many people who have been thinking about putting solar panels on their roof in Balsall Heath may not be aware that time could be running out. The government has announced a review of the rates of feed in tariff payable to people who give their roofs for the purpose. Rates are announced until 31 December but are proposed to drop to a very low level from 1st January. This means that all the installers are being rung and filling their diaries with orders, as homeowners try to beat the degression. If you do get it done in 2015, then the income is guaranteed for 20 years and the review underlines that.
I have written an information sheet which I hope is impartial about solar costs and benefits. email bhiop[at]jerciho.org.uk if you want to be sent a copy John Newson
If you do not have a suitable roof, you may consider investing in Community Energy Birmingham which is putting panels onto community buildings in this area website

Solar Energy Day in Balsall Heath

15/07/2015 at 10:58 am | Posted in Community energy, Home Energy saving, Solar power | Leave a comment
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This is another chance to learn from Balsall Heath, on Saturday 18th July 2015. We shall share our knowledge about the costs and benefits of solar panels. This is not a selling occasion, but a chance for people to find sources of impartial advice and information to help home owners and local organisations to make the right decision.
All are welcome to Drop in and find us 2pm to 4pm at Balsall Heath Church Centre, 100 Mary Street (corner with Edward Rd) Balsall Heath, Birmingham B12 9JU
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Our Green Neighbourhood

15/04/2015 at 12:56 pm | Posted in Community energy, Cycling, Gardens, Home Energy saving, Recycling, Solar power, Trees, uncategorised, Walking, Water, Wildlife | Leave a comment
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Good News! Funding has been granted by the Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme to Balsall Heath Is Our Planet for its work in 2015. The aim is to support events and activities that give local people a chance to learn about all the good work and good projects which are showing the way to a more environmentally-friendly way of life for our neighbourhood. SEE, LEARN, GET INVOLVED

The programme is under deveopment, so watch this blogspace. Any suggestions or offers are very welcome
Contact me; John Newson, Development officer, Balsall Heath Is Our Planet 0121 647 1960 in office hours, or email bhiop[at] jericho.org.uk

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