Energy Group

For group members: Email the group (not just Nicola) - Glossary

Next meeting: Wednesday Dec 15th - This will be a fun event. Please bring something to share - an upbeat story, something funny, a tip for energy saving, or for how to run a sustainable Christmas - anything you like. Also if you have suggestions for things you'd like to discuss in 2022 that would be great.

After that: Monday 24th Jan - Heat pumps. Margaret and Nicola have had heat pumps installed this summer and possibly others have too. If you'd like to hear about how it went and how we are getting on, come and join the discussion. (If you also have a heat pump you'd like to talk about, please let me know.)

We conduct meetings online using Zoom. All welcome, contact Nicola for the link.

Latest News and events

New personalised advice tool

The energy group have a completely new energy advice tool which you can use to get ideas for improving your home. The suggestions update dynamically according to your aims (indoor air quality, keeping warm, reducing bills, carbon emissions, keeping cooling in summer) and what you already have in your home. Please do try it out.

Updated fact pages -

Have you seen our newest fact pages: Low carbon heating options and Underfloor heating. Also the Heat Pumps FAQ has had a major revamp.

First step to a low carbon vision for Cambridge

At our April meeting we started a discussion on what a low carbon Cambridge might look like and how to get there. The plan is to make a list of possible strategies, whittle this down to 3 or 4 that are practical and will make a real difference, then see what we can do to promote them. Needless to say, we didn't manage all that in one meeting! Our list of strategies includes:

  • Very high levels of recycling
  • Less energy intensive lifestyles
  • Eating less meat and animal products
  • Lots more insulation in homes and other buildings
  • Lots more street level PV on rooftops
  • LED street lights
  • High levels of walking and cycling (and possibly electric bikes)
  • Much greater use of public transport
  • Polluting cars banned from the city centre
  • Congestion charging in the city centre
  • Hydrogen fuel stations for e.g. buses
  • District heating by CHP
  • Underground inter-seasonal heat storage
  • Smart charging for cars, with vehicle to grid (V2G) energy storage services
  • Grid connected battery storage (possibly flow batteries)

Would you like to take part in this discussion? The notes are in a shared document on google drive but I can't give you the link here for fear of spammers. You can access a readonly (pdf) version here . If we know you and you would like to take part let me know.

What are we doing to save energy and carbon emissions?

You can read suggestions from some Energy Group members here. Suggestions are ordered by cost - three of them are less than 100.

Advice on keeping cool in the summer

Read out latest fact sheet: how to keep cool in the summer time. From keeping windows closed in the summer time, to DIY awnings, and ice packs for the head.

All about embodied energy

Nicola has written an overview of embodied energy/carbon issues including how you measure it and what are the implications. For example, in some cases (like conventional cars) operational energy dominates, in other cases manufacturing or materials (like carpets). In other cases both are important. The report includes comments issues raised in our discussion on the topic. Read it on her website here

All about the circular economy

Nicola has written an overview of the circular economy and what we can do to promote it. (e.g. get your stuff mended professionally, consider renting rather than buying stuff). This includes comments issues raised in our discussion on the topic. Read it on her website here

Energy advice pages

See here for advice on saving energy, energy efficient heating and generating renewable energy at home.

Help Wanted

Please email us if you would like to help or contribute your ideas, whether or not you can come to meetings.

At the moment we are particularly looking for assistance with:

  • Authoring FAQ pages and fact sheets, both writing the answers and writing the questions so you don't have to be an expert to help. Some ideas for more:, heritage buildings ...

By the way, Nicola's thermographic pictures of houses in Cambridge are still here.

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