Welcome to Green Streets
British Gas’ Green Streets was a ground-breaking project, helping Britain’s communities to become greener. Investing £2 million into microgeneration and energy efficiency measures, British Gas helped 14 communities across Britain to save and generate energy. The 14 groups designed their own innovative energy projects and in addition to initial funding, competed for a further £100,000 investment into their project. In July 2011, the residents of Llangattock in the Brecon Beacons National Park were named the winning community.
These Green Streets communities are living case studies of how we can all change our energy use through efficiency measures and technology.
Despite a three year campaign by the local community to save Beccles Lido outdoor pool, Waveney District Council shut the pool at the end of 2008. In 2009, supporters of the pool persuaded the council that the community should be given the chance to take over the repair and operation of the pool on a not-for-profit basis.
With a little help from British Gas, Beccles Lido Ltd and the community adopted a hierarchy of three key energy-saving measures for their homes and pool:
- Reduce the demand for energy by turning down heating, switching off lights and appliances that are not in use and closing doors to keep heat in.
- Using energy more efficiently – by insulation lofts and cavity walls in the homes and the installation of a pool liner and cover.
- Generate renewable energy – by choosing a technology such as solar PV panels, the community and the pool could generate renewable energy and income.
British Gas conducted home energy-assessments to work out what could be done in homes in order to improve efficiency. British Gas also undertook a full energy assessment of the Lido complex and recommended a number of energy-saving initiatives.
Beccles Lido is now thriving and once again a focal point for the community and has become an example for community groups that are fighting to keep their open air swimming pools open all over the country.
Climate friendly Bradford on Avon
Three schools benefitted from the Green Streets programme in Bradford on Avon, with two received cavity wall insulation and a third had solar PV panels installed to generate energy for the school and about £1,600 a year from the Feed-in Tariff.
With a little help from British Gas, the villagers of Bradford-on-Avon focused on three main energy-saving measures:
- Reduce the demand for energy – by turning down heating, switching off lights and appliances that are not in use and closing doors to keep heat in.
- Using energy more efficiently – by installing low-energy light bulbs and more efficient appliances, insulating lofts and cavity walls.
- Generate renewable energy – by choosing a technology that is most suited to the location, space and resources available – such a water, wood, wind, sunlight.
Sheila Taylor, Head Teacher of Fitzmaurice school: ‘We very much appreciate the work that has been done. We can already feel the huge difference that the insulation is making, particularly at the office end of the school – it is obviously something that ideally would have been done years ago! Hopefully we will also feel it in reduced energy bills too!’
Bradford Bandits BMX Club
The British Gas Green Streets project meant BMX Bandits club members in the community were also able to take part in the project. British Gas ran home energy assessments on each of the participants’ homes and lifestyles, to measure their current efficiency and see what measures could be suggested to improve their efficiency.
To help the BMX bandits club, British Gas Green Streets installed solar PV on a local council building. As part of the ‘Rent-A-Roof’ scheme, this building then received free electricity from the panels in exchange for their roof space.
By generating sustainable electricity, they were also eligible for the government’s Feed-in Tariff, creating a new source of income for the club.
Green Streets is a fantastic initiative. I believe business is about more than money. I believe it’s about putting something back. It’s great to see British Gas working with communities like Tackley and helping them to generate their own renewable energy.