Tackling climate change can only be achieved by working together and while some projects need to be on a large scale to make an impact, there are steps we can all take. So, here is a collection of ways to make a difference at home. Discover even more inspiration, ideas and support through our information and resources section.
Local energy advice
Their fully trained home energy advisers provide:
- Energy saving tips
- Energy saving features (e.g. LED light bulbs, draught proofing, radiator reflectors)
- Help with changing supplier or tariff and applying for discounts
- Referral for help with benefits and debt (including water debt)
- Information about grant availability for insulation and heating
- Sign up for priority services register
- Referral for Fire Safety Checks
- Information and help with Smart Meters
Eligibility for a LEAP home visit needs you to meet one of the following criteria:
- a low household income (UNDER £31k);
- receiving tax credits, housing benefit, income or disability related benefits;
For more information on eligibility please read ECOE's LEAP eligibility page.
Referrals and frontline worker training
Do you know somebody struggling to keep their home warm or paying too much for energy? Ask them if they are interested in free advice and a home visit. Read ECOE's Referrers guidance and project updates for more details. To refer someone, please complete their referral form or contact ECOE by phone or email.
Regular community drop-in advice sessions
CHAT Office (Churches Housing Action Team), Phoenix Lane, EX16 6LU
2nd Tuesday every month, 10.00 – 12.00.
Sunningmead Community Centre, Lazenby Road, Wilcombe, EX16 4AL
Quarterly on First Friday of month, (Nov 2022 and then Feb 2023) – 11.00 – 13.00.
Active Travel in Mid Devon
Cycling and walking routes are featured on the Visit Mid Devon website.
Choose from a Top Ten
There’s no pressure to do the whole list all at once, but how about choosing your favourite first, and then you can enjoy the benefits of your lifestyle change?
Carbon Savvy has a great 'Keep Warm at Home' page too.
The Carbon Savvy carbon footprint calculator will help you track the difference you’re making to the climate.
Save Energy and Water
Find clever ways to save water on the Waterwise website.
Borrowing and sharing kit or tools amongst friends and neighbours can save a fortune. Why not seek out a local 'library of stuff' or free giveaways online?
Book a spot with your local repair café if you need a tool sharpened or fixed.
Make the most of old stuff. Recycle Devon’s ‘Gardening, Allotments & Houseplants’ Pinterest board has lots of reuse ideas for the garden.
Grow your own food? The RHS has helpful info on what you can plant and harvest in each month of the year.
Avoid peat!!! Even if you don't make your own compost. :) Discover composting in 4 simple steps here.
Don’t forget, Devon residents can get a cut price compost bin!
Reduce, reuse, repair, upcycle, recycle!
Think outside the box
Remember there are lots of local projects in Mid Devon who run activities such as repair cafés, swap events or give-away schemes that help you hold onto your stuff, upcycle it, swap it or donate it. Get creative with Recycle Devon's great re-use/repair/swap ideas.
Get into The Zone! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... a huge resource on waste, and not wasting.
Here is a handy A-Z of waste materials, and how to recycle or dispose of them.
Visit the Energy Saving Trust pages on financial support for energy efficiency and renewable tech in your home. Keep an eye on EST news for announcements on grants.
£ Help for low-carbon and renewable energy
Explore the latest Energy Saving Trust info on grants and other financial support for kit / retrofit / upgrades / installations in your home.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers you money off the cost and installation of three low carbon heating systems: air source heat pumps, biomass boilers and ground source heat pumps. Find out more about the scheme and renewable heat options.
Earn a Reward from Renewables
The Smart Export Guarantee is a way to earn financial reward for running a small-scale renewable energy system, where eligible, including Solar PV installations. Anyone can apply for an agreement with a licensed energy supplier, to pay for energy you export (surplus going back into the grid).
- Cheap or free energy saving measures, such as LED light bulbs, draught proofing, radiator reflectors.
- Help you choose a reputable installer.
- Information about grants for insulation and improvements.
- Help on Smart Meters.
Try the Gov.uk energy saver tool - for recommendations on ways to save on your energy bills, based on your home's characteristics.
Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings
Historic England's free energy guidance for heritage buildings includes both broad advice and detailed guidance about working with roofs, walls, windows and doors. Current Guidance and Advice | Historic England
You might also be keen to read technical advice notes published by The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB).
If you can eat seasonally and locally, with an eye on avoiding some high-impact foods, cutting food miles, and minimising waste, it can benefit the environment and your health.
Food is a nutrient-rich resource that was grown, harvested processed and transported to your kitchen, and it's a shame to have to throw it away, so please do what you can to avoid waste. Whatever waste you end up with could now feed earthworms and their decomposer friends (got a wormery?) or a local biodigester to produce methane biogas. Mid Devon District Council collects household food waste every week, and that's taken to biodigesters, not landfill, so at least it goes to a good cause.
Many of Mid Devon's green groups run community fridges and café events that make the most of best-before-date food that supermarkets like to offload. Any excess tins, jars or packets could go to these projects or local food banks. Platforms like Olio and Wrap can also help neighbours and businesses share surplus food.
Carrot & Chickpea Burgers by Clare Wright.
This Imperial College podcast includes a segment on climate-friendly cooking. Linsey Wynton, who organised the Grantham Climate Friendly Pop-Up kitchen, speaks to Dr Charlotte Vrinten about how people can eat a more climate-friendly diet.
Devon Community Energy
Devon Community Energy has advice and support for communities looking to embrace eco-friendly initiatives.
Devon Solar Together
Devon Solar Together is one of the popular group purchase schemes for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
This '10 favourite planet-saving solutions' podcast by the BBC What Planet Are We On? team also includes points on reusing, recycling, and tips on reducing our impact.