Sustainable Blewbury

Energy Initiative


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Renewable energy

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Energy assessment


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Survey 2009

This page covers who we are, our aims, and our constitution.

Contact UsA Phone A Computer

We would very much like to hear from any other organisation which can give us advice or help us in achieving our current aims for improving energy efficiency in a village environment. Our current priorities are:

  • To find and publicise practical solutions to the domestic energy issues that arose from our surveys – including better house insulation for a variety of house styles, and saving energy in a domestic environment.
  • To expand our investigations and education on renewable and alternative energy options suitable for the community.
  • To help Blewbury residents, community buildings and local businesses to improve their energy efficiency.

We are happy to provide links from this website to organisations and websites with similar or related aims,even if these are not part of our current agenda.

The contact for the above is our webmaster, Eric Eisenhandler, email e.eisenhandler@qmul.ac.uk or phone (01235) 850558. For energy advice you can also contact any member of the committee, who will either try to help or put you in contact with an expert.


The Committee

Name Email
Chris Colborne chris.colborne (at) diamond.ac.uk
David Watsham dave.watsham (at) virgin.net
Eric Eisenhandler e.eisenhandler (at) qmul.ac.uk
Hugh Osborn hugh (at) appleinter.net
Ian Bacon ian.bacon (at) BlewburtonPartners.com
Jo Lakeland jo.lakeland (at) btinternet.com
   A Committee

All the committee live in Blewbury.

Chris Colborne is an electronics technician by trade, and a do-it-yourself eco-nut who has cut his use of energy and resources by more than 3/4. By considering the environmental impact of all our activities, finding smarter ways of doing things, and cutting out the "greenwash", anyone can make a difference. The savings easily outweigh the costs, and you don't have to live in the stone age to be sustainable.

David Watsham runs a design and building project-management company, has an interest in energy conservation, and is a licensed producer of Energy Performance Certificates.

Eric Eisenhandler is emeritus research professor of particle physics at Queen Mary, University of London, and has worked at the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. He is very concerned about global warming and energy issues, and hopes to improve the situation in the local community. He is webmaster and co-author of this website – hisemail is e.eisenhandler@qmul.ac.uk andhis phone number is (01235) 850558.

Hugh Osborn led the Initiative for several years and is also deputy webmaster. He was a founder of the BVS Environment Group and has a keen interest in energy efficiency and climate change issues. He has past experience in power generation and distribution in the UK and south-east Asia.

Ian Bacon leads the Initiative; he also led the team for its first few years. He works for Blewburton Partners, who specialise in energy conservation. He is a Code for Sustainable Homes assessor and also an SAP assessor. Ian has been a solar and built environment advisor with Thames Valley Energy;before that he was the energy conservation officer for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Ian's MSc was in environmental policy and management.

Jo Lakeland worked with the Energy Group at the University of Reading, staying on there for 10 years after completing an MSc in renewable energy and the environment. Her commitment to sustainability issues resulted in her also becoming the network co-ordinator for BIONIS (the international BIOmimetics Network for Industrial Sustainability). She is now project co-ordinator for Sustainable Blewbury’s project Transition Together – Blewbury.

In memory of John Richards, who originated this website and was its award-winning webmaster, inspiration and co-author for many years. Very sadly, he died on 5 June 2011.


Aims of the Initiative

The Blewbury Energy Initiative began in the autumn of 2005. Significant progress was made in the next three years in raising awareness of energy issues and helping people to reduce their energy usage. A review of the initiative took place in early 2009, after which it was decided to continue with the initiative but at a lower level of activity. The initiative continues to maintain and expand this website, to provide energy advice, and to investigate specific energy issues. In addition, all of us are involved in other activities of our parent organisation, Sustainable Blewbury.

Energy Saver Logo

Our aim is to assist people to reduce energy use in buildings in Blewbury, in ways which both reduce the amount of the coal, oil, gas and electricity needed and at the same time help the global environment.

The Initiative provides relevant information, and offers advice to anyone who is planning energy-saving improvements in the village, whether in domestic homes, public buildings or workplaces.

Energy Saver Logo

General advice is collated and provided initially via the Blewbury website. Hopefully this assists not onlypeople in Blewbury but others who are interested in seeking similar savings.


An early activity was a survey of a small sample of the range of houses in the village, to give an indication of the current energy usage, and of which energy saving methods would be most effective in each type of building. We used this information to provide an estimate of the carbon footprint of the Village.

The Initiative is also happy to assist business premises in the village with advice on the most effective energy-saving measures.

The Initiative also aims for high energy efficiency in the public buildings in the village. We therefore are happy, in co-operation with the responsible bodies, to arrange for energy surveys of such buildings, and then to provide assistance in planning and finding funding for any desirable improvements.

Some people may be interested in installing energy generation from renewable resources, such as solar hot water or electricity generation for their home. The Initiative collects information and advice on such installations, including information on the local planning guidance, with the aim of achieving the maximum benefit from any such investment.

A diary of our activities is given on a separate page.

Ground Source Heat Pump  Solar Energy  Watermill  Wind Power


Our Constitution

The Blewbury Energy Initiative seeks to ascertain an informed estimate of the carbon footprint of the buildings of the Village and to suggest energy efficiency measures to reduce this footprint, as well as seeking to encourage those renewable energy technologies that are deemed appropriate for the Village.

This should not only have environmental benefits in the reduction of carbon emissions into the atmosphere,but should also:

  • alleviate any existing fuel poverty within the village (and there are still homes that lack central heating),
  • foster a healthier internal environment which links to wider health-related issues,
  • free-up cash that would be spent on heating and power to be spent within the local economy, and finally,
  • foster local business opportunities in the form of energy efficiency and renewable energy installations.

The project is part of Sustainable Blewbury (formerly the Blewbury Village Society Environment Group).


  • To reduce the carbon footprint of the village buildings through the uptake of energy efficiency measures.
  • To take a degree of control over energy provision within the village through the adoption of renewable energy-generating technologies.
  • To identify where fuel poverty exists and to eradicate it from the village.
  • To ensure that community buildings have a minimal impact on the environment and are as energy proficient as possible, for the benefit of current and future village residents.


  • To have a firm idea as to the carbon footprint of the village building stock and the vagaries within the diversity of that building stock.
  • To quantify the market for all appropriate domestic energy efficiency measures.
  • To develop a co-ordinated programme, with external agencies, to deliver energy efficiency improvements to the residents and building owners of the village and to raise the average SAP rating of Blewbury homes.
  • To ensure that all community buildings reach ‘best practice’ standards regarding heating and power provision.
  • To encourage all small businesses within the village to adopt a simple energy policy and to assist their implementation of ‘best practice’ measures.
  • To ensure local ‘handy-men’ and heating engineers/plumbers are fully versed in ‘state-of-the-art’ energy solutions for buildings.
  • To determine the renewable energy technologies that are considered applicable to the village and to encourage their uptake, thus leading to a revised demand pattern, which may permit the replacement of overhead cables in some locations.
  • To fully document the processes involved and to offer assistance to other regional villages wishing to replicate this project.

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