Stacking up renewable heating supplies for winter…


What excellent weather we have had during the last few weeks, perfect for drying out firewood. We have been busy building a new log store for the 2 cubic metres of logs we purchased a month ago. This will be our second full winter with our wood burning stove and we now know how effective it is at heating our home. This summer we have obtained a bigger stock of wood so we can light our stove more often this winter and hopefully further reduce the gas used for central heating. For the older Letchworth homes open fires were once … more

What if my house could be this warm all year round?


With summer here, insulating your walls may not be a hot topic for you to be thinking about. However, we all know that summer does not last forever and in no time the heating will be switching on again and we will be looking at the heating bills and wondering what we can do to reduce them. In the last few weeks I have been busy taking a look at wall insulation, both cavity and solid wall ready for our next Home Energy Improvers meeting. I have also been finding out about all the grants that are now in place … more

Reducing Electricity Bills


Our Transition Tuesday meeting at the end of April was on Smart Meters and the Smart Grid. Smart Meters will transmit up-to-date readings of the amount of gas or electricity that has been used in each property and will receive information such as current tariff rates from suppliers. Roll out of these meters is planned between 2015 to 2020 but pilots are taking place now.  Consumers will be able to see energy usage and costs via an in-home display and benefits are expected through better home energy management from using this information.  Smart Meters will see the end of estimated bills and be an … more

TTL receives grant award for thermal camera


This winter Transition Town Letchworth have been finding out how thermal imaging can help to detect where energy is wasted in homes. Jas Phugura, who attended a thermal imager training session, explains, “Winter is the ideal time to find out more about the energy efficiency of your home as draughts and heat loss through the building structure are easiest to see when the inside temperature is at least 10 degrees above the outside temperature.” TTL borrowed Cambridge Carbon Footprint’s thermal imaging camera for a four day trial.  Eight properties were surveyed and issues detected included missing areas of loft insulation, … more

Arlesey Winds of Change


So, plans for a turbine at Arlesey have been re-submitted!  Here at TTL, we think wind turbines are beautiful, especially considering what they achieve. But, wouldn’t a turbine be even more beautiful if it were owned by the local community, so that they would get all the benefits, financial as well as in terms of cheaper electricity? (And hopes of ever so slightly preventing catastrophic climate change) Would you prefer a turbine, or a frack well-head?  Sadly, if there is tight oil or shale gas under Arlesey the town will probably get a well-head whether or not they have a … more

Comments on the proposed new Design Principles for Letchworth

The LGC Heritage Foundation’s preview of the draft Design Principles which govern the changes householders can make to their properties have really got us thinking.  Many of the problems Ebenezer Howard wanted to solve when he set about creating our Garden City are still relevent today. The Town & Country Planning Association (TCPA) are the modern day incarnation of the Garden City Movement and their manifesto recognises that climate change and resource depletion are two vital challenges we must address in the way we plan our towns and organise our communities.  Personally, I feel Howard would agree with the TCPA … more

National Self Build and Renovation Centre visit

By Roger Lovegrove The energy group was triggered into arranging this visit because of the Heritage Foundation’s new Design Standards appear to prevent any heritage area house being clad in external insulation. There are about 7,500 pre-war houses in Letchworth that have solid brick walls with no cavity. 22 local residents were coached to Swindon for what turned out to be a very interesting and useful day. The visit was very illuminating, being a useful mix of focused presentations, guided tours, one on one sessions and free to roam time amongst 400 exhibits and 3 full size houses. Before cladding … more

September 24th, 2012


Self Build and Renovation Centre Visit  Saturday 1st December, 9am – 6pm The Energy Group is arranging a visit that will provide house owners and local tradesmen with an update on the latest renovation techniques. Specialist speakers will advise on solutions to problems including insulation and heating of pre-war Letchworth properties. The National Self Build & Renovation Centre (NSBRC) is a unique 67,000 sq ft, permanent visitor Centre, designed specifically to meet the needs of anyone looking to build or upgrade their home.  You’ll find everything under one roof:   from life-size exhibits – including three houses – demonstrating the myriad options in the … more