A NEW community energy group aimed at reducing Petersfield’s carbon footprint and cutting residents’ bills is to be launched at a public meeting.

Community energy groups look at providing electricity in a more environmentally friendly way, such as solar panels, and in a way that benefits members as they pay less for their power.

Organising the event are the co-founders of the Petersfield Community Energy Group, Julie Yardley of Kimbers in Petersfield, and Ingrid Martin of Mill Road, Liss.

Ingrid said: “We feel very passionately about this, and since May we have been going to meetings of other community energy groups to find out how they operate.

“Energy Alton Community Group has managed to win an award and secure external funding, and it’s chairman John Hubbard will be at the meeting.”

Also speaking will be Jane Devlin, the Energy Strategy Manager at East Hampshire District Council (EHDC).

She said: ““I am delighted to support The Petersfield Community Energy Group launch.

“EHDC has a record of working with community groups on low-carbon initiatives and the launch of this fantastic group just shows the level of interest there is in environmental and energy projects.

“Teaming up with community–led groups is a great way to get residents and businesses involved, raise awareness and build momentum.”

Julie and Ingrid are hoping the meeting will attract volunteers to help with proposed projects.

These include home visits to give energy saving advice, and encouraging residents to put solar panels on their roofs.

And for those perhaps not so ambitious, or unable to have solar panels, alternatives such as energy saving LED lights, is suggested.

And they will also be talking to the owners of buildings in the town, such as banks, councils, and businesses, to see if they would be interested in generating solar panel power.

The meeting on Tuesday, November 15, in the Square Brewery pub in Petersfield Square starts at 7pm, and everyone is welcome said Ingrid.

She added: “It is a wonderful opportunity to hear these people speak and to have the opportunity to ask them questions.

“I am so keen to learn how Petersfield could generate its own power and it will be wonderful to sit with enthusiastic people and discuss the options.”

Julie added: “We want to hear people’s thoughts and learn from each other’s experiences. Who knows, Petersfield could soon be generating its own power, which would be amazing.”

Petersfield Post 7th November 2016