BarnIngham NET ZERO
Meeting the Climate Change Emergency in Barningham
Concern about the rapidly developing climate emergency led to the forming of a residents’ group in November 2019 with the vision of making Barningham a “Net Zero” emission village.
The Barningham Net Zero Community Interest Company was founded on 16th April 2020 to carry on activities which benefit the community of Barningham, Richmond, North Yorkshire and in particular to reduce energy costs for Barningham residents and businesses by implementation of cost-effective renewable energy generation technologies. This activity, when combined with energy efficiency improvements, would help reach the ultimate aim of achieving a net zero carbon footprint from Barningham building emissions.
On 6th August, we signed a contract with Tees Valley Combined Authority for a Stage 1 grant of £38,400 to establish the feasibility of bringing ‘green’ energy to Barningham. A contract was also signed with the successful consultant, Teesdale Environmental Consulting Ltd, on the same day. The consultant worked with the Net Zero team providing expert services, commencing with an energy survey for households and businesses. Nearly 70% of the community contributed energy data to determine the current and predicted future electricity requirements for Barningham. Renewable technologies were reviewed, together with potential location sites for selected technology assets. Whilst the majority of potential generation sites were eliminated and there were no available sites for wind turbines, the study proceeded with a proposed photovoltaic solar energy scheme in two locations. Unfortunately neither site proved to be financially viable at this time under prevailing regulatory arrangements and the team will continue to keep the potential under review as climate change regulation and legislation develops.
Work during the project also resulted in the publication of 24 factsheets on household energy efficiency and management, with categories covering: simple energy tips; advice for vulnerable or elderly residents; heating, cooking, lighting and house maintenance; and draught-proffing and insulation.
The Stage 1 Feasibility Study was completed on 16 April 2021, exactly one year after the formation of Barningham Net Zero Community Interest Company.
The renewable energy project was supported by the BEIS-funded (Government Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), which is managed by the North East Yorkshire and Humber Energy Hub and administered by Tees Valley Combined Authority.
In addition to the RCEF project, the group continues to work on other environmental and sustainability initiatives.