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WREN Newsletter Summer 2011

Newsletter of the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network

A Warmer Wadebridge
Wadebridge Town Hall, Sat 10th Sept 2-5 pm

As energy prices go through the roof, common sense tells us it’s better – and cheaper – to save energy than to generate more.

WREN launches “Warmer Wadebridge” in an effort to help residents keep their fuel and power bills down this winter.

On Saturday 10th September, from 2-5pm at Wadebridge Town Hall, WREN will bring together information and practical help to keep Wadebridge warm. It’s an opportunity to get free and reduced cost insulation for your home, and find ways to take charge of your own energy consumption.

WREN also hopes to offer free electricity monitors so you know exactly what you use, a powerful tool in the battle to reduce your bills.

Quarter Megawatt For Green Holidays
A big step towards realising our solar-powered ambitions was taken when international energy campaigner Jeremy Leggett joined North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson to open a 242kW solar installation at The Olde House, the eco-friendly holiday facility at Chapel Amble.

Andrew and Janice Hawkey, who run The Olde House as part of their 500-acre farm, said: ”Holiday makers now look for green destinations, which we want to offer them, as well as protect ourselves from crippling rises in energy bills.

“We are also delighted to be part of this local movement to put our area in the lead on actually becoming green, rather than just talking about it.”

On its first day the panels produced a staggering 1,570kWh, about 40% of most households’ annual usage. The panels should provide all the electricity they need for their business.

Jeremy Leggett said: “The future will have to look like this, as the costs of traditional energy continue to rise and the costs of renewables fall.”

Dan Rogerson MP thought: “People can be rightly anxious about things that are new, but once they see what solar technology looks like—and how powerful it is – more will understand its potential. Installations which help farms to diversify, generate energy for local homes and keep land in food production can make a real difference.”

For more details, including a film about the building of this solar farm, visit

Our Beautiful (Solar) Laundrette
The laundrette in Polmorla Road, Wadebridge, could be the first in the UK to have a solar PV system.

The 3.76kW system was installed in the early summer. Customers may have been unaware that their smalls were going round and round thanks to the sun!

The system is expected to generate 4,000kWh per year, save around £500 on electricity bills, and receive Feed-in Tariff (FIT) payments of about £1,900. The initial investment should be repaid in about six years.

Owner Sue Hall is very happy with the system, which was self-funded as it made sound business and environmental sense. “It’s good to think that a proportion of the energy used now comes from renewables, and that the FIT payments will go a long way to help pay our energy costs”.

Following the laundrette installation, Sue has had panels fitted at home. Read the full story at Wadebridge-home-Britain-s-solar-powered/story-12973639-detail/story.html

Visit WREN at the Fun Day
Do drop by at the WREN stall on Sat 20th August, in the Family Fun Day at Coronation Park (1.30 – 5pm).

We’ll have some solar and wind powered fun things to play with!

It is obviously not enough to simply generate our own power – we need to consume less in the first place, and to minimise unnecessary waste.

We put our money where our mouths are and asked various members of the WREN board how to save energy and resources.

When cooking, say, potatoes or soup, bring the pan to a simmer, switch off the heat, and cover the lid with one or two tea towels folded into quarters. Take care not to set the towels alight!

The contents will continue to cook for a very long time because of the tea towel insulation.

You'll need to experiment dish by dish; potatoes should cook this way with only a few minutes simmering.

Another advantage – you can just leave the dish to cook. No need to switch it off later. Tony Faragher

1. Hang your washing line in a poly tunnel or greenhouse (and get rid of the tumble drier).

2. Brush vigorously inside toilets each day instead of using bleach.

3. Use tights or knee highs over a downpipe to filter water collected in a barrel. Lorraine Turnbull

I’m draught-proofing my old sash windows by replacing the staff and parting beads. The result so far seems very good and inexpensive, if a bit time consuming.

Duncan Burwood

Do you have your own energy-saving ideas? Do let us know! Email Every little helps…

Solar Panel Facts
The first modern photovoltaic (PV) cell was developed in 1954 by Bell Laboratories.

They were developed for toys and other small instruments as the cost of the electricity was very high.

It was then suggested that the cells be added to the Vanguard I satellite – the first to be solar powered and the oldest still in orbit -- to extend the lifetime of the spacecraft which was originally only meant to run on batteries. Article Source:

What's your carbon Footprint?
Eden Project has an online tool to see how your everyday choices, from food you buy to clothes you wear, affects your carbon footprint.

Is it better, energy-wise, to email than to call on your mobile? To go out for a curry or a takeaway burger? Follow this link and find out. We guarantee you’ll be surprised!

Published by: Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) Limited Registered in England, registration number 31236R. Registered address : 10 Meadow Head, Wadebridge, Cornwall, PL27 7PW.

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network