Nottingham forges ahead with zero-carbon project
The MOZES project started with the installation of 55 solar roofs. The scheme also offers homeowners interest-free loans for carbon-reducing measures.
Alan Simpson, former Labour MP for Nottingham South, helped kick-start the project.
"Roofs have been fitted for free, through an award from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Families can use the electricity they generate for free and cut energy bills by 30-50%."
And the community receives payments - called feed-in tariffs (FITs) - for producing renewable energy. These go towards installing more roofs, raising the energy efficiency of homes and paying off installation costs.
The remarkable thing is that the project begins with low-income families rather than leaving them until last.
Simpson described the benefits for one resident, Jacqui le Huequet. “In August 2009, her electricity bills were £18 a week. This August the bills were £10 a week. And this is just the beginning."
Platform for change
“Meadows people see the scheme as a platform for a whole series of local renewable energy transformations,” says Simpson.
There is already planning permission for a wind turbine. And the community persuaded the council to consider tenders for building only eco-houses on the estate's available land. The first set of houses is complete.
All the houses were sold before they got off the planning board.
From April 2010, small businesses and communities are paid for electricity and heat they produce from renewable resources. These feed-in tariffs (FITs) are the result of a successful Friends of the Earth campaign.
FITs have boosted renewable energy generation in 20 European countries.
They have created new jobs, saved money and led to a greener economy. Read more here.