Carbon Conversations

Carbon Conversations was started by Rosemary Randall, a psychotherapist, and Andy Brown an engineer. Drawing on Rosemary’s therapeutic experience with groups and Andy’s technical expertise they created a unique psycho-social project that addresses the practicalities of carbon reduction while taking account of the complex emotions and social pressures that make this difficult. Over the years the project produced detailed, professionally designed materials on carbon reduction, culminating in the publication of the book In Time for Tomorrow? in 2015. external link icon

Energy Networks Top & Tail Transformation (Top & Tail)

Energy Networks Top & Tail Transformation is an eight UK university collaboration funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and explores ways in which energy networks can be transformed. The team from Imperial College Business School investigate how solutions to such problems as electricity overload and carbon emissions are conceived of by engineers, contrasting this research with how potential commercial users comprehend those solutions in relation to their working practices of electricity provision and usage. From these two strands of research diffusion and policy strategies are considered. We have close contact with the Cardiff social science team.

To investigate these research aims, we will develop a case study with a social housing association. This study builds on our recently completed study of practices of energy-saving technology use and implementation in the residential sector. external link icon

Name: Isabel Shaw, Ritsuko Ozaki


The Role of Community-based Initiatives in Energy Saving

This is a 4 year year study funded by the ESRC to assess the impact of community greening groups on a roll-out program of insulation upgrades in privately owned housing.

We are examining the household energy savings from practically achievable improvements in the thermal performance of existing dwellings, taking into account both direct and indirect rebound effects. To what extent does personal stated viewpoint (energy aware, ‘green’, ecologically minded…) impact on energy use.  external link icon

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust is a high-performing trust with some of the best clinical outcomes in the country. The trust has around 950 beds and sees about 700,000 patients a year from all over the world. We employ around 5,500 people and have a turnover of about £550 million.

The trust is committed to an environmental policy to guide the management of energy usage, natural resources and waste and there are national measures by which the performance of the trust is measured. The Trust is currently working to a Board approved Carbon reduction strategy that since 2008 has reduced annual site carbon emissions by approximately 24% which is about 7000 tonnes.

The Trust’s new Energy Centre went fully operational in February 2011 which will reduce the site carbon emissions by around 16%. In addition to technology installations, the trust encourages their employees to engage in environmental and energy demand reduction through a variety of schemes e.g. organising different themes for each carbon awareness day during the week-long nationwide event ‘Climate Week’.

See  external link icon for more information.

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust Logo

Reducing Energy Consumption through Community Knowledge Networks (RECCKN)

Reducing Energy Consumption through Community Knowledge Networks (RECCKN) is a 2-year project based at Keele University.

Our research focuses on how knowledge about energy is shared between people in two types of community, in Newcastle-under-Lyme and in Shrewsbury. Our aim is to compare and contrast the energy reduction challenges in these two communities and to see which strategies work best in each of them.

See external link icon  for more information.


Lammas Low Impact Initiatives

Lammas exists to support the development of ecovillages in West Wales.

Planning permission has been granted for an ecovillage in Pembrokeshire (called Tir y Gafel), which is currently under construction. It has been designed using a model that can be replicated across Wales, combining the traditional smallholding model with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture.

The Tir y Gafel ecovillage aims to become a demonstration model for low impact living.

Visit the Tir y Gafel webpages on the Lammas website: external link icon

Lammas logo

Address: Visit the Lammas website for contact information

Heat and the City

Heat and the City is a four year project based at the Universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde, funded by the UK Research Councils under their Energy and Communities programme. The project looks at the development of low carbon, low cost, sustainable heat systems in cold climate cities, as a sociotechnical process. external link icon


Futurespace Ely and Caerau is a group set up by a core group of enthusiastic volunteers who are passionate about bringing communities together and promoting sustainable living; we are supported by the local Communities First team who are helping us to carry our vision forward. Futurespace aims to generate a sustainable future in Wales by working with communities in Ely and Caerau. There are two key goals – to reduce the use of natural resources and to address the issue of fuel poverty in the local area.

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Cyswllt Peterston Connect

Cyswllt Peterston Connect (CPC) is an organisation of residents of Peterston Super Ely who want to improve the local environment and make life there more sustainable.

CPC is working on projects in the areas of: Energy conservation and renewable generation, Transport and access, Green space and biodiversity, and Food and cultivation. The organisation is in process of registering as a small charity. external link icon

Peterston logo

Name: John Drysdale


Community Innovation in Sustainable Energy

Recent years have seen a surge in interest and activity in small-scale, sustainable energy projects led by local communities. Examples include solar water heating clubs and insulation clubs, which provide mutual support for system installation; energy awareness and behaviour networks, which provide guidance and reassurance to neighbours on energy matters relevant to them; and co-operatively-owned small-scale renewable energy systems, such as micro-hydro and wind energy.

This research project studies the diffusion of community energy projects in the UK. It explores the extent of networking between projects, and whether this is assisting in the innovation of community energy. We also assess the performance of projects and provide independent advice to policy-makers and energy businesses about the merits and processes for supporting community energy. We draw upon the findings of our research to develop with practitioners a number of Foresight scenarios for community energy in the UK.

Duration: October 2010 until September 2013
Funder: EPSRC-ECLEER  external link icon

Name: Dr Adrian Smith, Dr Gill Seyfang

Address: 3S, SPRU, University of East Anglia, University of Sussex