Some snippets of information from matters that have been discussed over the last few months by the Energy & Sustainability Working Group.
This national scheme has been promoted by the Working Group across the borough, the aim being to make it easy for anyone to fill their water bottles for free at participating shops, businesses and cafes, called Refill Stations. This reduces the numbers of new plastic bottles being bought and hence lowers the amount of carbon emitted from bottle production and plastic recycling. Most towns in Elmbridge have a Refill Champion and in Weybridge this is Cllr Charu Sood. She has been very active in setting up the scheme and there are now seven Refill Stations in the Queen’s Road shopping area and over 30 in the main Church Street/High Street area.
To find out where they are, download the Refill App (by City to Sea CIC):
Refill Stations should have a sticker showing that they are participating:
Trees and green spaces
Surrey County Council has a free tree give-away with an ambitious target of planting one tree per resident by 2030. This amounts to 1.2 million trees. This will help to tackle climate change – by the time a tree is 40 years old it will have absorbed one tonne of CO2 – as well as enhancing our environment. The Working Group heard from a representative of the Woodland Trust who stated that Elmbridge only has 17.6% (2016 figure) of woodland cover and that 20% is the minimum recommended to help absorb more of our locally emitted CO2.
Elmbridge BC has set up a Community Planting Fund of £100,000 to support community groups who want financial help to deliver projects that improve Elmbridge’s green spaces. This fund is open to charities, community interest companies, parish councils, voluntary groups, schools, scouting and girl guiding groups, and other not-for-profit organisations. It can be used for a variety of projects including: Community gardens, In-Bloom groups, new planters/flower troughs, or any other projects that would contribute to make Elmbridge a green and brighter borough. Applications can be made from 1 February to 13 March 2020 and up to a maximum of £5,000 per project could be allocated.
The Climate Emergency
As already posted, Elmbridge Council declared a Climate Emergency in July 2019 and agreed the need to put measures in place to make the Council carbon neutral by 2030. To do this the council has contracted the Carbon Trust to undertake a carbon audit of all council owned properties; they will be reporting their findings by March 2020.
Help with saving energy
Action Surrey delivered an interesting presentation on grants and payments that can be made to householders to assist them in making their homes more energy efficient. Visiting their website gives details of eligibility and applications for the Warm Homes Discount, Cold Weather Payments and Winter Fuel Payments. They will also give advice on installing renewable energy sources such as solar heating panels for which there is a government Renewable Heat Incentive, meaning that you are able to receive payments for the heat that you generate, and for solar photovoltaic panels which qualify for Smart Export Guarantee arrangements with the energy companies to sell them any excess electricity produced.