Three Cheers for Sunny Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire is one of the sunniest places in Britain. This was the good news brought by Chris Lord-Smith when he addressed the Pembrokeshire South East Energy Group at the Regency Hall on March 19th.
During his talk he looked at all aspects of water heating and its cost effectiveness. He explained that before considering any of the available forms of alternative energy, members of the public should first consider the many ways they could conserve energy and hence reduce their energy bills. Simple expedients such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, double glazing and draft proofing should be high on the agenda.
If, after this, solar heating was to be contemplated then it was very good to know that South West Wales was in the area of greatest solar energy in the United Kingdom. In Pembrokeshire one square metre of solar collector could produce 1 Kw of heat in Summer and ½ Kw in Winter!
Chris showed examples of the 2 types of collectors, the flat panel and the evacuated glass tube. He preferred the simpler flat panel which was cheaper and far more robust with a design life of 30 years. When positioning panels the main consideration should be to look for the best outlook for Spring and Autumn. Clearly panels are best placed on south facing roofs, but if this is not possible west facing is better than east facing – avoiding early morning mists!
Many questions were raised by members of the very large audience. Queries regarding swimming pools, rotating panels (not worth it), financial savings, best manufacturers – were all expertly addressed. The typical cost for the average house should be between £4,000 and £5,000 from a reputable installer. But be on your guard. Think before responding to the speculative junk mail offers. It could end in tears!
The chairman thanked Chris for the highly informative and entertaining presentation.
The meeting went on to hear that the group was making progress with its distribution of energy efficient light bulbs to the over 70's and certain benefit claimants – a total of 200 have now been given out. A report was also given on details of the innovative proposals for the development of tidal power in the Ramsey Sound.
The question of maintaining members interest was also raised. It was generally agreed that word of mouth was the best form of advertising (second only perhaps to the generous and effective support from The Tenby Observer).
The next meeting of the Group is on the 30th April, 7.00pm in the Sun Lounge of the Regency Hall, Saundersfoot when the speaker will be Martin Bell of Ludchurch who will be outlining the work of The Environment Network of Pembrokeshire. All members of the public are welcome.
|13th March 2009||Ashton Hayes Community Energy Reduction & Hot Water From the Sun|
|13th February 2009||Could Pembrokeshire go carbon neutral?|
|14th November 2008||Environment Wales to provide 'Start-Up' Funding for PSEEG|
|17th October 2008||PSEEG to become a Registered Charity|