FLIR1545

We're pleased to be progressing with the 'soft' launch of our thermal camera, kindly funded by Leek Building Society. We're also delighted to hear that SMDC is planning something similar, although we have no details of their plans at this stage.

Having consulted with other providers of thermal imaging services (many thanks to Cambridge Carbon Footprint and Cumbria Action for Sustainability, who have both provided invaluable advice), we think our best model is to lend the camera to individuals to do their own informal home surveys, along with guidelines provided by us and pointers to free training courses. We stress of course that this will NOT be a professional service, just a tool to let homeowners get a rough idea of what might be necessary and we strongly recommend that users seek professional advice before embarking on disruptive or expensive improvements.

The camera is designed to be used in conjunction with a smartphone (connected via bluetooth) and can be easily clipped on to the phone or used separately for tight spaces, although both components need to be close enough for the connection to work. The advantage of this is that all photos are saved on the user's phone and have no ownership issues, although we welcome users sending us photos that illustrate a particular point if they choose to do so.  The camera works with both i-phones and androids, although recent models may work better than old ones.  We've experienced some problems with androids but so far they have mostly proved surmountable.

Our first official outing with the camera was at Biddulph's Energy Saving Day in January, where we displayed images we'd taken to show what they can reveal, discussing how to interpret them and drawing attention to potential pitfalls in interpretation. We also took it to our 27 January market stall in Leek and will continue to publicise it thereafter in our newsletters, website and Facebook pages.

We're still in the process of developing the service, so for insurance and other administrative reasons we're prioritising our members, but we do intend to expand the service once we have completed the trial period. Realistically, this expansion may not happen before next October, as the activity season is dependent on internal/external temperature differences of about 10 degrees Celsius.
 
Registering with us will put potential users on a waiting list and we will get back to them as soon as possible.  For members, that is likely to be some time before the end of March, depending of course upon the weather.
 

Register Here

Leek Building Society

 

woolly warmersWith the thermometer dropping, we’re all thinking of how to stay warm this winter, while avoiding too much cost and trying to keep our climate footprints low. Easier said than done.

There was a lot of interest at our Energy Day in March, but the reality for many of us who live in old houses is that insulating them to be heat pump ready has a lot of pitfalls. Can we be confident that any work done will avoid the horrors of ‘thermal bridges’ or ‘vapour barriers’ in the wrong place?

It would be nice to know that government was focussing on training large numbers of builders to be accredited in retrofit but so far we’ve been unable to find any in the Moorlands. However, we are aware that some of our members have had work done on their houses or done it themselves, so wonder if setting up a forum to share experiences would be valuable. Do let us know what you think via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In the meantime, we may be able to focus on piecemeal actions...

FLIR Councillors at Energy DayWe were excited to try out a new thermal imaging camera at our Energy Day in March. This is a valuable tool that can be used to identify hot and cold spots in buildings and help to pinpoint where insulation needs to be improved. It certainly identified cold spots at the Foxlowe (if we hadn’t already felt them for ourselves) but we also used it to identify hot spots – perhaps the hot air emanating from politicians?  To be fair, the image shown above primarily shows how we lose heat from the top of our heads and how a thick head of hair or headwear can minimise the loss.

Starting this autumn, MCA’s Energy Group will be trialling a new service using this camera to help you track down problems with your home.

Energy Day Introduction MJ 2As promised, here are the outputs from our very successful Energy Day held in March. The fully illustrated report of the day that we produced for our sponsors is now available and you can access it by following this link:

FINAL REPORT ENERGY DAY - 2023

The individual videos of the morning and afternoon sessions are now available on the website and elsewhere. You can follow the link below to access both the programme and the YouTube links.

ENERGY DAY VIDEOS

One of the practical outputs from the day is the Thermal Imaging programme that we plan to establish. The details are on Page 9 of the report. If you would like to get involved with the programme, either as a householder or surveyor, contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Energy Day 2023 was held on 5th March and wss filmed for everyone to see. It can now be seen on YouTube by following the links below.
 
  • Opening Welcome -  https://youtu.be/Sg0z8Tp5G9Y
    • Cllr. Joe Porter, SMDC Cabinet Member Climate and Biodiversity  (introduced by Mark Johnson, MCA)
  • Fabric First: Basic Energy Solutions for your Home -  https://youtu.be/-y-igXNruJI
    • Nick Parsons, Sustainable Building (Sheffield)
    • Graham Hirst, Energy Assessor/Advisor Sustainable Hayfield (in partnership with Marches Energy Agency)
  • Heat In Homes - https://youtu.be/tp27pj3TIN8
    • Mark Thompson, Get Energy Savvy
  • Domestic Energy and Retrofit: The Next Steps - https://youtu.be/0KS8evwmECc
    • Becky Lane, Furbnow and former Net Zero Delivery Manager, West Midlands
    • Charlie Baker, The Red Co-op and Your Home Better Consortium (Manchester)
    • Dan Chambers, Moorlands resident embarking on low carbon future
Afternoon
  1. Delivering a Smart and Local Energy Transition - https://youtu.be/ghLdZA6Fe7o
    • Prof. Zoe Robinson, Director, Keele Institute for Sustainable Futures
  2. A Sustainable Energy Future for the Moorlands, Staffordshire and the Region. -  https://youtu.be/ovwqvWDsVz8
    • Serena Bacuzzi, Midlands Net Zero Hub
    • Chris Langdon, Decumans and Net Zero Rugeley
    • Gillian Wright, Climate Change Officer, Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
    • Followed by final panel questions
 


New Energy Day Teaser Poster We are very excited about the way that our second annual Energy Day is taking shape. To be held on Sunday 5 March at the Foxlowe Arts Centre in Leek, it will focus on the following themes:

  • Fabric first: basic energy solutions for your house/home
  • How to reduce your energy use: a talk plus Q&A
  • Domestic energy: the next steps
  • An energy future for the Moorlands Staffordshire, and the region 

As before, the day will feature a lively mix of speakers who will then take part in a panel discussion as well as answer any question you may have.

From last year, we’re delighted to welcome back Sheffield’s Nick Parsons, of Sustainable Building, one of the most insightful (and user-friendly) experts on energy refurbs in the business.