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Village cracking down on fuel bills

PUBLISHED: 10:03 03 November 2008 | UPDATED: 07:45 01 August 2010

A VILLAGE which has won awards for its energy-saving projects is set to spend more than £90,000 on reducing fuel bills for the whole community.

Wenhaston, south of Halesworth, has been named as one of the greenest villages in Suffolk and this weekend the Wenhaston Energy Support Group held an open day to launch a new community project.

A VILLAGE which has won awards for its energy-saving projects is set to spend more than £90,000 on reducing fuel bills for the whole community.

Wenhaston, south of Halesworth, has been named as one of the greenest villages in Suffolk and this weekend the Wenhaston Energy Support Group held an open day to launch a new community project.

The group, which formed in March 2007, was awarded the Suffolk Greenest Community Energy Award earlier this year, helping them to win a £70,000 grant from the East of England Development Agency (Eeda) to refurbish their village hall.

Plans have now been drawn up to fit a biomass boiler in the hall, put solar panels on the roof and install cavity wall and loft insulation which should give immediate savings of about £1,000 a year on energy bills.

At the village's second annual energy day on Saturday, group chairman Janet Dillaway said that in the future, the hall may even be so energy-efficient that it would be able to return some energy back to the National Grid and earn the village some extra money.

With the Eeda funding and another £22,000 grant from Suffolk County Council, the energy support group is now launching a village insulation project to offer money for householders who want to improve their wall and loft insulation.

Mrs Dillaway said: “With government grants, some people can get insulation put in for free but there are other people who have enough money to live but not enough left over to pay for insulation, so this is for them.

“We're going to plug the financial gap so that everyone can benefit by reducing their carbon footprint and cutting their fuel bills. Even those on higher incomes will be entitled to buy products at a bulk discount rate.”

Saturday's open day also saw the start of a consultation about the possibility of creating some form of village energy production, perhaps a wind turbine or solar panels.

Mrs Dillaway said: “As a village we are dependent on oil and gas, so our community's fuel prices have gone through the roof recently. We're now starting to talk to people about whether they are interested in a feasibility study for the use of alternative energy.”

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