January 2024 Newsletter: Our first open house, car chargers and more

Welcome to your first HGS REACH newsletter for 2024. 

Every month, we aim to update you on what is happening in HGS on climate change issues. And we'll also provide some interesting articles that have caught our eye during the last few weeks. 

We'd love to hear your feedback. Tell us what you think at reach@hgsra.uk

Our first Open Homes Day

Interested in an air source heat pump? High-tech insulation? Better windows? Come visit an HGS home that has it already to see for yourself. 

January 14 is the first HGS REACH Open Homes Day, with RA members able to visit various houses in HGS that showcase different energy-saving and low-carbon technologies. 

We’re asking for a £10 donation for Food Bank Aid for each visit.Full info and booking details here.

Charging up!

Barnet has been busy installing the new Trojan charging points for electric vehicles at five Suburb locations. Each can charge around a dozen cars. 

 If you want to see this nifty technology in action, click on the image below. 

Image: Trojan Energy

However, Barnet are keen to ensure that streets with these charge points don’t become overloaded with electric cars. So the “lance” which enables charging will only be available to those living close to the charging point. 

HGS REACH had a very useful discussion with Barnet on EV charging earlier in December, and at the time the definition of “living close to the charging point” had not yet been decided.  

Those eligible will be able to pay £100 for the lance, but be credited with £100 of electricity. If you’re in the defined areas, Barnet will write to you.

Extra charging 

The humble lamp-post charger will continue to be a useful option for those not close to one of the Trojan charging points, Barnet told us. 

The council still has the budget to install these units. So if you’ve bought an electric car and don’t have a nearby charger then email EVCharging@Barnet.gov.uk to get put on a list. 

However, note there’s no guarantee your request will be accepted — there is a lot of demand. Barnet has been ahead of many other councils installing EV chargers. 

Indeed, in July the council declared there were more public charging points in Barnet than in Wales. However, much of this was part-funded by central government, and these funds are almost spent. 

HGS REACH is planning some exciting events around electric mobility for the spring. Stay tuned!

Our IR camera scheme is now live  

We’re still taking applications for these gadgets, which are an amazing way to start reducing the amount of power needed to heat your home. 

Click here to learn more and sign up (RA members only).

Heat pumps and solar: record installations

The year 2023 saw record installations of both domestic solar power and heat pumps.  

Solar installations are up 32% vs. 2022. And heat pump installations are up, for the sixth year in a row, helped by the increased government subsidy, which has been lifted from £5,000 to £7,500. 

Weekly applications for the grant have soared from an average of 331 to 1,172. 

More info is in the data release from MCS, the body that certifies installations.

Image: Pixabay

Heat pumps perform the apparently impossible — they pump warmth into your home even though it’s colder outside, turning one unit of power into four units of heat. To see how this miracle happens, see this new explanatory graphic from The Guardian.

What we're reading

The government has finally confirmed that homes built after 2025 cannot have gas boilers. 

This £18,000 compact electric car has been named “Bargain of the year” at the Top Gear motoring awards.  

Barnet has responded to the “Citizens’ Assembly” recommendations for a greener borough. Their response has new details of their plans for biodiversity, energy efficiency, and more.  

And finally, a sobering article about one of the greatest catastrophes our species has inflicted on the planet. The Aral Sea used to be a vast, fertile  inland lake nearly the size of Scotland. It’s now known as the Aralkum Desert. Read Geographical magazine’s article Aral Sea: an environmental disaster to rival Chernobyl 

Seen something good to read? Please email us a link. 

Like this newsletter? You could read the one from last month. 

Want to get involved? Volunteer on reach@hgsra.uk

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Article created:24th December 2023    Last updated:27th December 2023