AURORA Forest of Dean hosts energy advice events at local community centre


AURORA Forest of Dean and Forest Community Energy (FCE) volunteers held two “Energy Café” style events at a local community centre – the Sling & District Recreation Club in February and March 2024.

An “Energy Café” is an event where local residents can get together in an informal setting to talk to each other and local experts about energy. The events were held at the same time as the club’s regular Community Café. By meeting the community where they are, this is a great way of ensuring that more people access the support they need to help them reduce their energy bills and carbon emissions.

As well as a chance to socialise with others in the community, and enjoy some food, key highlights of the events included:

  1. Information and advice: Through games, and conversations with FCE volunteers and local energy advice organisation Severn Wye Energy Agency, residents were able to learn about energy saving tips, services and grants available locally to support householders looking to make energy efficiency improvements.  
  2. Thermal imaging cameras: Residents got to play around with thermal imaging cameras and see how this easy to use technology can be used to spot where heat is lost in the home and where to target low cost home energy efficiency improvements (e.g. draught proofing). Residents also got to register their interest to take part in the free thermal imaging loaning scheme being organised by FCE and the Sling Club.
  3. Free raffle: Residents were able to join a free raffle to win energy saving prizes. There were three prizes that were given away: a slow cooker, an energy monitor and a remote controlled plug socket – all prizes were aimed at supporting people to cut down their energy usage.
  4. Hands on draught proofing activities: During the second event, residents got to see an array of example draught proofing materials to get ideas on how to reduce heat loss in their homes in a low cost way. A craft activity was also run for children to make their own door draught excluding snakes using old tights.

By speaking with FCE volunteers, residents also got to find out more about the group and what they are up to, including plans to launch a community share-offer to develop local community owned solar projects in the Forest of Dean.

“The Energy Café events are a great opportunity to promote our free thermal imaging camera loan service and support local residents to get advice and information on local energy schemes and grants.” – Sammy Betson, Forest Community Energy volunteer and Sling & District Recreation Club Committee member.

Following these events, local residents who signed up will get to borrow thermal imaging cameras for free to explore how heat is being lost in their homes and identify options for making their homes warmer and cheaper to heat.

We look forward to more events like these in the future!

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