ERIC the energy van launches to help residents save money

A project designed to help residents improve the energy efficiency of their homes has launched in Skegness today (Wednesday).
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ERIC the Energy and Retrofit Information Clinic parked in the North Parade Car Park for the big reveal by East Lindsey District Council.

In August last year, the District Council successfully applied for more than £662,154 to be able to reach out to some of the district’s most rural and remote communities through the Local Energy Advice Demonstrator competition.

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The project is one of nine being funded in the East Midlands by the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero, through the Midlands Net Zero Hub, to support more than 30,000 people with energy advice.

Maya Swieconek, 10, of the Richmond Primary Academy in Skegness and her winning design.Maya Swieconek, 10, of the Richmond Primary Academy in Skegness and her winning design.
Maya Swieconek, 10, of the Richmond Primary Academy in Skegness and her winning design.

Working with PECT, the two-year programme in East Lindsey has seen the recruitment of four home energy advice officers as well as the launch of the energy van.

The energy van will enable the home energy advice officers to travel across the district, delivering in-person support to help residents, particularly those who do not have access or skills to access the Internet, with home energy advice, retrofitting opportunities and grant funding.

ERIC is fully fitted out with a range of retrofit measures, information and technologies so that it creates a self-contained mobile clinic for residents to access.

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Coun Graham Marsh, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, Leisure and Culture and Carbon Reduction, said: “This is the continuation of other work we have been doing to try and make people’s accommodation more heat efficient so it costs less to heat which will release badly needed finances so they can spend it on other things within the families.

Launch of ERIC the energy van which is designed to help residents in East Lindsey save money.Launch of ERIC the energy van which is designed to help residents in East Lindsey save money.
Launch of ERIC the energy van which is designed to help residents in East Lindsey save money.

"We already do a lot of Retrofit and properties and this is a way of taking this modern technology out into the communities to people whp haven’t heard of it.

"People can actually come on the bus and look at the technology.

"We’ve got different lights to show how energy efficient they are, insulation, solar panels and heat source pump.

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"This is the basic range people can look to install to improve their homes.

Information available inside  the energy efficiency van.Information available inside  the energy efficiency van.
Information available inside the energy efficiency van.

"Our team are fully qualified and can give advice on how to improve the EPC rating of their homes, how to tap into government grants to help with the cost and ultimately make the quality of people’s lives better because their homes are better insulated and cheaper to run.”

Louise Upton is one of the team. She said: “People are coming to us very frightened of the increase of their energy bills and we are trying to do the best we can to help them.

"This van is going all over the district and my message to people would be to get in touch, please shout out for help.

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"There is assistance out there and we would be more than happy to help.”

The launch was also a proud moment for the Richmond Primary Academy Student Maya Swieconer, 10, who won a competion to come up with artwork to illustrate the aim of the energy van.

"My picture shows solar panels on top of the house, a full electric bus, a full electric car, a fountain powered by solar panels so they don’t waste energy, a wind turbine and children playing and animals.

"My teacher inspired me to enter the competition because it’s something we learn about at school.

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"I never expected to win first place and see it on the van though. I think. It’s been amazing.”

Eric is on the road again on April 5 in Spilsby at the Boston Road Car Park, 10am to 12pm

Other stops include:

April 11 – Wragby Town Hall, 10am to 2pm

April 12 – Wainfleet All Saints Linrary, 10am to 12noon.

April 24 – Sibsey Village Hall, 10am to 2pm

April 30 – Stickney Youth Centre, 10am to 2pm.

May 3 – Sutton on Sea Meridale Centre, 10am to 12.30pm.

The HEART team will also be at:

March 28 – Horncastle Community Centre from 10am to 12.30pm

April 5 – Alford Hub, 10am to 2pm

April 12 – Louth Library, 10am to 1pm.

April 17 – Skegness Storehouse, 10am to 2pm.

April 24 – Mablethorpe Libray, 10am to 1pm.

April 25 – Horncastle Community Centre, 10am to 12.30pm.

May 3 – Alford Hub, 10am to 2pm.

Top 10 tips from PECT for energy efficiency are:

1) Get a smart meter so you can measure and understand your energy use – knowing your energy use will show you where to start saving.

2) Turn off appliances at the plug instead of leaving them on standby and save an average of £55 a year.

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3) Look for drafts in your home and block them with excluders to help keep your home warm.

4) Use the smallest suitable pan for your food and the hob ring that best matches the pan size to avoid using more energy than necessary.

5) Clean your hob rings and oven regularly to maintain their efficiency. Both can reach the required temperature faster when they are clean.

6) Boil water in the kettle then transfer to a pan when boiling or steaming to save time and energy. Only boiling the amount of water you actually need in the kettle can save £31 a year.

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7) Use a lid to keep the heat in the pan and speed up cooking.

8) Install water saving items. A water-saving showerhead will reduce energy usage, as well as water, and can save up to £80 a year on your energy bills. Fix any drips and leaks 1.

9) Turn the taps off when brushing your teeth and shaving will reduce your water usage by 10 litres

10 Try taking a four minute shower and save £65 per year on your energy bills whilst saving water in the process.