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WREN Newsletter December 2013

Newsletter of the Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network



WREN has made great strides through the year in supporting residents to reduce their energy needs and produce their own energy. We’ve helped people install loft and wall insulation and draught-proofing. Our teams of approved installers have put in solar panels and biomass (wood) boilers amounting to well over a megawatt of capacity, saving over 1000 tonnes of CO2.

We put on the hugely successful and well-supported ‘Wadebridge Energy Futures’ exhibition in the Town Hall, with around 500 visitors. The event highlighted Wadebridge’s innovative past in energy production – did you know the town had its own energy company until the 1930’s? – and its potential to go ‘back to the future’ by once again taking ownership of its energy generation. This exhibition will be available online early next year.

WREN’s acheivements have been recognised not only locally, but also nationally – WREN won the Ashden Award for Community Energy. WREN chairman Stephen Frankel was named the South West Sustainable Energy Champion. At the Cornwall Sustainability awards, Jerry Clark, WREN technical director, won ‘Best Individual Leadership’ and WREN was joint winner of Best Community Renewable Energy Scheme.

We’d like to say a big thank you to all our members and friends who have supported us throughout the year.


WREN’s dedicated team of directors, volunteers and staff are not resting on their laurels, though, and we expect 2014 to be an even more significant year. We aim to establish an energy company that will help us reach our goals of:

· saving people money

· giving the town greater energy security

· supporting the town to deliver local employment opportunities.

With high energy prices continuing to dominate the news, there is no better time for the town to start taking control of its energy future.


Stuck for a gift idea?
Forget Robins – it’s Wrens this Christmas!

25 Wren note

Don’t know what to get family and friends this Christmas? Support local shops, keep money spent at Christmas in Wadebridge and contribute to the WREN Community Fund, by giving a 25 Wren note?

Our Wr25 notes (equivalent to £25) are available from The Energy Shop on The Platt with a locally designed card to make the perfect local gift.

Around 50 businesses in Wadebridge accept Wrens and for each Wr25 note redeemed, the business will donate £2.50 to WREN’s Community Fund.

WrEN offers


Solar Diverters – If you have installed solar PV or a wind turbine on your property, the chances are you are exporting over half of the electricity you are producing. One of the simplest ways of storing this electricity is for it to be diverted into heating your hot water tank, reducing the use of gas or oil – and thus saving you money. WREN will send out details in the new year of two systems that will help to maximise the benefit of your renewable energy system.

Commercial Biomass Heating – Are you a business looking to reduce bills, make money and reduce your carbon footprint? By switching from a fossil fuel system you can benefit from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and cheaper fuel costs. We can offer biomass heating systems tailored to suit your business using trusted and approved local installers.


Domestic Solar PV – Installing solar panels on your home still makes good financial sense and comes with a government backed Feed-in Tariff that means your system will payback in 6-8 years giving you a further 12 years of free electricity and an income stream. After 20 years you should continue to benefit from the free electricity.

WREN might also able to install solar panels on your roof for free. This means that you will enjoy access to all the free electricity the system produces, though WREN will receive the Feed-in Tariff. WREN will need to carry out an inspection of your property’s roof to confirm suitability – pop into the shop to find out more.


Over 65% of the town now has the potential to receive a superfast broadband connection. This is expected to rise to 95% by September 2014. WREN is supporting a ground breaking research study into the environmental impacts of superfast broadband


If you are a domestic or business user why not get involved and you could find out how to:

· Save time and money

· Improve your productivity at work

· Learn new skills

· Better your quality of life

And you will be helping the community and local economy to create a more sustainable environment. See website for details.

New Team Members

John Catchpole (Director and Legal Advisor) is a solicitor specialising in commercial property transactions who has worked on various solar PV and wind projects. He joins the team in a voluntary capacity.

Kevin Smith (Communications Director) is a physics graduate and qualified accountant. He worked for Shell, specialising in process improvement and change management. He joins us as a volunteer director.

Dominic Comonte (Project Manager) is a Law, Economics and Business graduate. He was a trader in London and New York and moved to Cornwall to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle with his young family. Having installed solar PV at his home, he is now working on a hydro installation.

Published by:
Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) Limited