East Wittering resident leads the way on climate action: Chichester District Council

Fred, who lives in East Wittering, has reduced his carbon footprint in a number of ways. He has had an air source heat pump installed for free and has applied to a PV solar panel installation scheme, both through schemes delivered by Chichester District Council. In addition, Fred has also upgraded his patio doors by installing triple glazing, introducing a higher standard of insulation, and switching to low-energy LED lighting.

“Originally I only had an electricity supply, which ran some old radiators and an immersion heater, but then I had a smart meter fitted and I could suddenly see how much energy I was using, which was quite scary,” says Fred Ellis. “After doing some research, I found out about an air source heat pump that would supply the heating and hot water in my home for about a quarter of the energy I was using. I saw on Twitter that the council were offering funding for energy efficient measures, so I decided to apply.

“With the grant funding I received, I was able to get new radiators and a new hot water system. So far, I haven’t had any problems with the air source heat pump — some people say that it takes a bit longer to heat up than a gas boiler, but I haven’t noticed any difference. Upstairs and downstairs is now lovely and warm and it’s definitely going to be cheaper to run. I have an app on my phone from my energy company which shows how much energy I’m using, and it is drastically less than before.”

Fred is also planning to go one step further and install electricity-generating solar panels to power his energy efficient home. He is currently sourcing quotes for this work, and as part of this he has signed up to the Solar Together scheme, which is delivered by Chichester District Council alongside West Sussex County Council and iChoosr. This initiative helps district homeowners and small and medium-sized businesses to purchase high quality solar panels at a competitive price. When the panels are running, they will supply the home with free electricity that’s also free from carbon emissions.

“Fred is one of the many residents in our district looking to save money on their energy bills and reduce their impact on the environment,” says Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council. “Fred has kindly filmed a


 with the council where he runs through all of measures he is implementing.

“In the run up to COP26, we hope many more people will be inspired. COP 26 is the biggest and most important international environmental summit the UK has ever hosted — this will bring countries together to create a plan to limit global warming, but you don’t have to be a world leader to make a difference in the fight against climate change. I myself have signed up for the Solar Together scheme to access affordable panels, and we know that residents, businesses and organisations across the district are already doing their bit by making changes to their lifestyles that will make a big difference to the local environment.”

Last year, the council produced a Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out a carbon reduction target of 10% year-on-year until 2025 for the Chichester District. This also outlines the council’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the work it does, and great progress has already been made. People can find out more about this at: Climate change .

Penny adds: “We are working with West Sussex County Council and other district and borough councils to engage with residents, businesses and organisations about the ways in which we can all play our part in the fight against climate change.

“We are also busy working on a behavioural change campaign to let residents know about the various energy efficiency measures that they can make to their own homes to save money and reduce their carbon footprint — some of these steps are small and simple, but when we all act together, they make a big difference. These include: making sure radiators aren’t covered or blocked by furniture so that heat can get into the room; draught proofing letterboxes, keyholes and chimneys; insulating the loft, walls and flooring, as well as hot water tanks and pipes; switching off lights and electrical goods when not in use, and; running the washing machine with full loads at 30 degrees on short cycles.

“Other steps are bigger – such as some of those that Fred has taken. So, we are organising an event for people where they can hear all about home efficiency measures such as heat pumps, PV solar panels, and many more, and where they can also learn about the help and financial support that is available. This event will be taking place on 29 November in Chichester. There will be more details to follow, but please save the date.

“One of our officers will also be attending the

Chichester Eco Festival

 on 6 November 2021. The event will bring together local experts, organisations and activists and the public to learn, inform, inspire and act in response to the climate and ecological crisis. I’d encourage you to go along and look out for our Let’s Talk: Climate Change stand!”

There are various grants available for home energy efficiency improvements and people can find out more about this by contacting

Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice

 on 01243 974063.  

For more information about the work the council is doing to help tackle climate change in the district and for details of how individuals, businesses and organisations can play their part too, please visit Climate change .

The Great Sussex Way and Chichester Festival Theatre are also organising a COP26 crowd-created human sign to spell out the words ‘Commit’, which will be pictured from the air. Everyone is invited to attend on 26 October and 12 noon in Oaklands Park, Chichester, where they can also make a commitment to something — big or small — that they can do today to work towards a more sustainable future.

Date of release: 22 October 2021

Reference: 4054

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