Energy Group

The group's aim is to provide information, advice and practical help with the installation of green energy sources for local residents homes. The plan is to carry out a survey of existing solar, wind and ground source energy installations and document the extent of the local expertise.

The aim is also to write and publish, on this website, case studies (see below) from local residents, covering the many different types of installation in the village. It is hoped that a range of example cases from large solar (Wakelyns 10kW solar array photo) to small mobile home/boat (50W) examples will be made abailable to help making decisions with new installations.

Help with Solar installation

Solar Together Suffolk

Since 2018 Suffolk County Council have run a scheme for local residents to install solar panels on their homes at significantly discounted rates by virtue of bulk purchase. They used local contractors and the project has been a success. Check the following link for details of new similar schemes run by Suffolk County Council.

Suffolk County Council hope to run the scheme again in the autumn of this year (2021). The link has information about registering for the new scheme.

Solar Together Suffolk

Case Study No 1:   Household Electricity Consumption in Waldringfield  (October 2021)

Typical Local Requirement

The village of Waldringfield is not on the UK National Gas Grid, and hence the primary energy source is electricity, supplemented by oil, and LPG (typically propane). (Note today the government announced a new plan to supposedly dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reach a target of net zero by 2050, including a scheme for homeowners to be able to apply for grants of up to £5,000 to install low-carbon heat pumps to replace their existing gas boilers - which presumable applies to oil as well. More details later)

Our home in the village is a small detached 4 bedroom house of around 150m2 floor area with a similar size small garden. The kitchen has recently been refitted and has at its centre an Everhot (a carbon negative company!) 100+ series all electric stove. This is always on, although in eco mode between 9pm and 7am, and provides instant cooking facilities (restricted during these times) and all the heating for the large kitchen. The stated power consumption in eco mode is 95 kWhrs/week or 13.6kWhrs/day. Lighting (all LED around 70W total), fridge freezer and washing machine are the next major consumers of electricity and bring the total daily consumption up to about 20kWhrs/day. At 18.6p per kWh this gives a daily electric bill of £3.72. The UK average house consumes 10kWhrs/day of electricity so we are 2 times the average, but our gas/oil costs are much less than average because the cooker is effectively 100% efficient, all electric energy being turned into heat which warms the house.

Additional energy input from oil is required to provide hot water and heating in the remainder of the house. Although the Everhot electric stove is new this year, the oil fired central heating system has not been used for 7 months (April to Octber inclusive). The heat from the stove, coupled with a well insulated house ensures an acceptable temperature throughout the house during these months. A heat pump heating system will therefore be required to work during the 5 winter months, November through to March. I'll get the additional energy requirements during these months and complete this note with the heat pump requirements. Any form of ground source pump is however out of the question because of the garden area available and access requirements.

In summary the peak electric power consumption for the house is around 4-5kW and the minimum is 100W at night, primarily due to the stove in eco mode, and the average energy consumption per day is, as stated above around 20kWhrs/day. The daily average energy requirement of 20 kWhrs/day translates to an average power requirement of just less than 1kW.

The UK Committee on Climate Change, chaired by Lord Deben, produced an informative report in 2019 concerning the state of the UK housing stock and its compatibility with the governments stated emission reduction targets. It recommends that "homes should use low-carbon sources of heating such as heat pumps and heat networks and that the uptake of energy efficiency measures such as loft and wall insulation must be increased". UK housing - a report by the Committee on Climate Change

Proposed Nuclear Power Generating Station - Sizewell C

Does the UK need Sizewell C?
(The arguments - October 2021)

This is the most significant environmental issue in Suffolk at the moment, and for the forseable future. This page will look at all aspects of the debate, with the aim of providing you with all the unbiased relevant facts to enable you to make your judgement as to whether you support or are against the project. This article is a 'work in progress' with the goal of presenting the facts from recognised sources e.g. the UK TIMES Model (a UK whole energy system optimisation model developed by University College London and The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) See Modelling 2050 link below. We will not provide opinions, but simply the facts relating to the other EPR projects, Taishan China, Hinkley C, Flamanville EPR in Normandy and Olkiluoto in Finland.

Why we need it:

1: Power Requirements 2050

Clearly estimates for electricity demand, whole life costs, costs of competing renewables, impact on biodiversity and other data critical to the debate need to be provided, and acknowledged reputable sources will only be used and referenced. Important numbers and estimates will be given with calculations shown for clarity. For example it is estimated that the demand for electricity in 2050 in the UK will be twice that currently, to accommodate the switch to electric cars, electricity for heat pumps, increased economic growth etc. See the UK TIMES Model (UKTM) below. The current total UK power output is around 30GW (see the Gridwatch link below). This equates to an annual energy consumption this year of:

Total UK enery consumption 2021 = 30x 24 x 365 / 1000 = 263 TW hrs

The Electricity System Analysis below models low carbon generating options based on two demand estimates for 2050 of:

575 TWh and 672 TWh.

Modelling 2050: Electricity System Analysis.(pdf)

Current live UK electricity demand and generating station output by type.

2: ENERGY STORAGE for wind and Solar power

If we leave the debate about how much carbon is released into the atmosphere by the thousands of tons of concrete needed for Sizewell C, (Note the 49,000-tonne foundation for Hinkley unit 2 required a continuous pour of 8,991 cubic metres of concrete, 37 cubic metres – 0.4 per cent – more than the amount used to lay the base of the first reactor, Unit 1, last summer.) and its impact on the evvironment, it will generate green energy in service albeit with a long term risk associated with the waste nuclear material. Similarly the production of Solar pannels and wind turbine assets also release carbon into the atmosphere.

A major problem with solar and wind, however, is its availability, which Sizewell addresses by being able to produce large amounts of green energy (7% of the UK needs) initially. There are however a number of promising long duration storage technologies.

New Energy storage technologies

Sizewell C Issue 1: EPR problems

  • Funding: The proposal by a consortium of Électricité de France (EDF) Energy and China General Nuclear (CGN) Power Group, (80% and 20%), is to construct two European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPR) to provide 3.2-gigawatt of power, around 7% of the UK total requirement at commencement of service in 2035. Note: Following the introduction of a new bill by the energy secretary on Tuesday (26th October 2021) it is likely that CGN's funding an involvement will be replaced by a levy on electricity supply customers.

  • The only operational EPR reactor in Taishan China, has experienced delays and recently a significant problem with a gas leak in the reactor. EPR problems

  • Construction of the EDF EPR in Flamville France will be 10 years behind schedule and five times the budget if it provides commercial production next year. As a result France has yet to make a decision on whether to use the EPR design.

  • The construction of the Sizewell C reactors are dependent on the progress of the similar delayed EPR station Hinckley C in Somerset.

Waldringfield Climate Action Support

Waldringfield Carbon Footprint Survey September 2021

With the UK energy sector in crisis, now is the time to look at your electricity and oil usage. We don't have gas in the village, which is one less worry, but wholesale energy price have risen from 12p to 93p per therm in the space of 15 months and this will cause a large increase in your energy bills. There are also serious concerns about the UK reserves and supplies of energy this week as 1.5 Million UK consumers discovered that their energy companies had collapsed. So now is a good time to think about making your house more energy efficient and this survey costs nothing and can help you. See the section below for the Survey Advice Sheets.

On September 13th a flier was delivered to all households giving details of this important survey and how it will be carried out. The actual survey starts on 27th Sept with visits by Groundwork volunteers who will call at your house and, if you agree, conduct a short (5 minute) survey to help you and us understand some of the changes we can make to reduce Waldringfield’s carbon footprint.

Our questionnaire will give you ideas of things that you might be able to do to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce your energy bills! The aim of the survey is also to gain a better understanding of the greenhouse gas emissions from the homes in Waldringfield and how we can work to reduce them.

Survey Detail here or to speak to one of your Greener Waldringfield volunteer neighbours contact us at

Survey Advice sheets

Martlesham Climate Action - Martlesham Parish Council

Martlesham Climate Summit

Full marks to Martlesham Climate Action Group for hosting an excellent day of talks and stalls with home made refreshments at the Runway cafe. A number of excellent talks were given by local residents on the details and science behind their green energy installations and some of the local solar energy suppliers involved in the Solar Together for Suffolk County Council were present with information stalls.

Rob Dunger and Catherine McMillan from Katy's Garden gave an inspiring and practical talk on garden re-wilding, and Tracey Goddard from the Woodbridge ECO Refill Shop talked about the range of environmentally friendly products available for your reusable containers, and the amazing number of plastic bottles she has saved from the landfill!

Local residents were also on hand to give details of their electric cars and the parish council tree wardens, Jane Hall and John Burges, manned an excellent stall covering their work and the variety of native trees in the village.