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Minutes of the Renewable Energy Generation Committee Meeting held in the Council Chamber of the Town Hall, Bideford, on Wednesday 6 December 2017 at 6.05 pm


South Ward:
Councillor D Brenton
Councillor J Day (Chairman)
Councillor B Wootton

East Ward:

Councillor J McKenzie
Councillor S Robinson


Mr R Coombes (Deputy Town Clerk)
Mr M Ford (Head of Regeneration, TDC)
Ms T Bowers (361 Energy CIC)
Mr T Langdon-Davies (Time Cheese Company)
3 x Members of the Public


Councillor P Christie (North Ward – personal).


There were no declarations of interest.


There was no participation from members of the public.


The Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 June 2017 were approved and signed as a correct record.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


Given the delayed arrival of Mr Langdon-Davies, the Chairman indicated that a change to the order of business, commencing with item eight, would be appropriate. Given the presence of informed interested parties he also proposed suspension of standing orders to encourage exchange of views and active participation.

Proposed by Councillor Day, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Order of Business is amended to accommodate the late arrival of Mr Langdon-Davies and that Standing Orders are suspended in order to allow Members of the Public to address the Meeting.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


Mr Ford defined the slow, fast and rapid chargers. Referring to his last report to the Committee he advised that an application for the New Homes Bonus had not been made given that there was a demand for more electric vehicle charging (EVC) points (and that the Bonus Scheme had been exhausted).

As a means of financing EVCs he spoke of a scheme where (private) land is leased at a rate of up to £1,000.00 per year for a period of twenty to thirty years by an outside agency would then install parking stations / equipment retaining all profit. An alternate scheme saw a shorter, ten year lease including a ten per cent revenue payment with the annual lease charge. This could prove more attractive as the industry / mechanism of delivery takes shape. (Also, if hydrogen power is introduced offering a complete departure.)

He indicated from a report where, in Torridge, car parking spaces / revenue could be reallocated to accommodate EVC points, noting that Riverbank and the Pill (or the Quay) offered opportunities albeit incurring a potential loss.

The report he had compiled would be reviewed at the TDC, Community and Resources Committee Meeting scheduled for January 2018; he noted that those canvassed councillors had expressed support for EVC introduction.

Reference was made to charging points becoming more universal, across the board and that it was not incumbent that all new filling stations have them installed. Technology had also improved where it no longer required a battery to be wholly flat prior to recharging.

Mr Ford indicated that DCC inertia, especially in relation to questions relating to development at the Pannier Market, had been as a result of awaiting large European Grant funding.

The Chairman referred to the recent (Central Government) Budget indicating money for EVCs by way of new grants for residential and office demand.

Upon questioning from the Chairman, Mr Ford was not able to predict the number of EVCs in expected in the Torridge area in the next few years.

Councillor Brenton advised that Blights Garage would be installing an EVC.

Proposed by Councillor Brenton, seconded and

RECOMMENDED: That the Committee review the outcome from the TDC Community and Resources Committee, Meeting scheduled for January 2018, at the next Renewable Committee Meeting.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)


The Chairman invited Ms Bowers to update the Committee.

Ms Bowers spoke of the work she and 361 Energy CIC had carried out in the Bideford and surrounding areas throughout Torridge and North Devon.

Leap is a Home Visit Project supported by the industry targeting vulnerable members of society and those experiencing fuel poverty. It has been running since January 2017:

• Phase I, a trial which proved beneficial, received half a million pounds of funding.
• Phase II, from June 2017, received a further two million pounds of funding.

It is a national project that saw the whole of Devon benefit (but not all other regions).

The Project’s bespoke home advice (up to three hours) includes:

• House
o Insulation and heating upgrades.
• Heating System
o Timers and controls.
• Behaviour
o Turn off!
• Bills
o Tariffs and switching. Water.

• Fifty one Home Visits were made in Bideford in the last six months.
• Each home visit generated an average of one thousand pounds in savings.
o Switching.
o Warm Home Discount Applications (£2940.00).
o Easy measures – replaced light bulbs (LEDs etc.).
• Further social impact included fire safety checks and meter help.

Sixteen weekly clinics have been held in the IntaGr8 offices since June 2017 (Thursdays, 10.00 am to 12 noon – funding for continuation of clinics remains until June 2018), however, the fifty one visits does not represent the fifteen per cent of the Bideford population who are experiencing fuel poverty. More referrals are needed.

Councillor Brenton suggested contacting the Schools and suggested a 361 Energy CIC stall be taken at the Pannier Market.

Ms Bowers stated, upon questioning, that Smart Meters should all be compatible (with industry suppliers) by July 2018.

Discussion followed on Debt collection and vulnerable / elderly people.

Ms Bowers thanked the Storehouse (Homeless) Project, IntaGr8 and the Council for their support.

The Chairman praised the very good work of 361 Energy CIC to the community.
There will be a Fuel Poverty Awareness Day Event Friday, 23 February 2018 - venue to be confirmed.


The Chairman spoke of an Event that he had attended in Plymouth where he learnt about the Plymouth Energy Community, their development and ownership of Solar / PV arrays and the benefits going to fuel poverty initiatives.

He had encountered a project in Staffordshire, Saving Lives with Solar: South Staffordshire Community Energy (SSCE) in partnership with University Hospitals of the North Midlands (Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital, Stafford) and Beat the Cold improving the welfare of local residents living in fuel poverty. SSCE have installed over 1,000 roof-mounted solar pv panels on buildings across the hospitals with investment from local people (who receive an average 4.5% return). The hospital will reduce its long-term energy costs that can be invested in improved hospital services. The income from the solar panels from the Government Feed-in Tariff is used to pay back investors – over the lifetime of the project – and the surplus is invested in a community fund. In turn, this fund supports the work of Beat the Cold to alleviate fuel poverty, targeting the most vulnerable patients.

The Rural Community Energy Funding was originally available for a six month period. Extensions have been granted, up to the start of 2018, resulting in the need to progress the legal paperwork on the range of sites within the current portfolio.

A Draft Feasibility Report will be compiled on the Base Case representing the five sites:

• Children’s Centre 30 kW
• Bideford College 100 kW
• Kingsley School 50 kW
• Pannier Market 11 kW
• Big Sheep 30 – 50 kW

(These represent a potential 4.5% return and an annual £1,000.00 yield that would support fuel poverty projects / grant funding.)

The Report could include an upgraded Case - the Base Case enhanced by larger buildings and other smaller ones such as Pollyfield (13 kW) and IntaGr8 (5.4 kW). South West Water (SWW) are open to involvement have to increase their renewable targets up to twenty per cent by the year 2020; sites at Cornborough and Ashford have potential in excess of 100 kWs.

It is hoped to increase the group to 500 – 600 kW.

With SWW and other larger buildings involved it could prove the driver in the Market to encourage take up by other players.

The funding that is still available will be used for:

• Feasibility Report.
• Business Case.
• Site Legal Documentation.
• Community Engagement.

Councillor Brenton noted from a TDC Audit Committee Meeting that Social Enterprise funding may be of benefit.

Councillor Robinson thanked the Chairman for the excellent work.


a.     The Chairman introduced Mr Tom Langdon-Davies to the meeting.

b.     Mr Langdon-Davies spoke about the cost, to the nation, of peak electricity demand. Around 3.30 pm, electricity demand in the UK rises, and by about 5.30 pm it is 7 GW (seven million kilowatts or "two and a half Hinkley Point Power Stations") higher, about 350 watts per household on average. By 8 pm, demand returns to its pre-peak level.

The peak at this time is as a result of offices, shops, factories working while the population return home from school and work. Effectively the workplaces and homes are using electricity at the same time.

He indicated that industrial / commercial concerns do spread their demand evenly through the working day and during the silent hours citing a local cement manufacturer’s practise.

He spoke of the importance to spread the message, at a local level, to encourage the change in timing of use / demand.

There is a strain on the distribution stations; Western Power Distribution is under pressure from OFGEN to accelerate de carbonisation.

Mr Langdon-Davies indicated that a project: Open LV will monitor the substation performance and electricity demand making data available to the public, businesses and community groups raising awareness of the substation usage.

Discussion followed on dual metering, Economy Seven and Smart Meters.

Mr Langdon-Davies advised that Smart Meters can be set up to “Time of use Tariff”.

Hydroelectric power was discussed, although very fast to react there are not enough lakes / infrastructure and battery storage which will make a contribution but is not carbon free. The advent of the Electric Car could also attract premium usage i.e. on return from work, plug in and recharge with the rest of the Nation (of Electric Car owners).

Mr Langdon-Davies concluded that peak demand is a national issue that needs addressing from the grass roots level.

c.    The Chairman thanked Mr Langdon-Davies for addressing the Meeting.


Proposed by Councillor J Day, seconded and

RESOLVED: That the Meeting return to Standing Orders.

(Vote – For: 5, Against: 0)

The Chairman, having established that there was no further business to discuss, thanked the Members for their attendance and concluded the Meeting at 7.20 pm.

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