THE ENERGY TOOLKIT

04. RESEARCH YOUR LOCAL AREA

Get to know your area and learn about your locality. Who lives there? What do they do? What light or heavy industry is there? What natural resources do you have? Are there specific planning requirements, e.g. AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), listed buildings or conservation areas?

LEARNING POINT:

FIND OUT ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Who lives there? 

  • What do they do? 

  • What light or heavy industry is there? 

  • What natural resources do you have? 

  • Do you know how people heat and power their buildings?

  • Do you know where the power lines are?

  • Are there specific planning requirements, e.g. AONB, listed buildings or conservation areas?

  • There are useful tools such as Parish Online (more of this in section 10) and Google Maps to assist you with this.

  • Your Parish Clerk will have invaluable knowledge in this area, particularly if they have lived and worked in the parish a long time. 

  • Take time to build up a complete picture.

  • Split tasks according to people’s strengths, as well as time available.

  • Start talking to key stakeholders and building relationships.

  • Think about extending your area, or teaming up with a nearby parish. 

Overton has a population of just under 5000 residents, a train station into London (with many workers commuting), the River Test, 2 churches, a vibrant high street, 4 pubs, 2 restaurants, several takeaways, many small and home-based businesses, some light industry around the station and in industrial units, a number of large farms including a dairy, and Portals Paper Mill (formerly De La Rue). The residential houses range from the very old (small cottages with solid walls, some thatched), through Victorian and Edwardian houses, to brand new housing developments. There are also several community buildings, halls, 3 children’s nurseries and a primary school. There are multiple clubs and societies, and a number of key organisations such as Overton Business Association, Overton Recreation Centre (golf club, 2 sports fields and pavilions) and Overton Community Centre Association. There are some good potential opportunities for community energy projects. This activity helps you build a picture of potential opportunities.

There is a lot of data available on local carbon dioxide emissions and energy use. Energy use data has a resolution of 100 households or so. Emissions of other greenhouse gases in available at a resolution of 1 sq. km and is useful in identifying emission “hotspots” and high energy density areas. 

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