All posts by Tom Broughton

Great British Spring Clean at Meadow Blue Community Energy site

Saturday 2 April 2022 and Saturday 9 April
9am – 12 noon
Celebrating the Great British Spring Clean, Meadow Blue Community Energy and Chichester District Council’s proposed Strategic Wildlife Corridors, we are holding a community litter pick and TLC for newly planted whips.
Come and help our wildlife whilst meeting with likeminded people in our beautiful, farmed landscape.
We will provide picker sticks, bags, refreshments and good cheer.
We ask that you supply your own tough/sturdy gloves and wear suitable outdoor clothing for the season.
If you are interested in attending, please could we ask you to contact Sarah Hughes (Chichester District Council Strategic Wildlife Corridor Project Officer) on
or mobile: 07765 175494
Please note the site has limited parking, so please consider car sharing etc.
Chichester District has a wealth of wildlife within and migrating through our precious and awesome district. This is an exciting project, which will provide further enhancements and connectivity for Chichester District Council’s proposed Strategic Wildlife Corridors and the threatened species it supports.
For the loss of biodiversity, UK is in the worst 10% of all countries globally.
The Strategic Wildlife Corridor project will endeavour to address this issue, improve biodiversity & the connectivity for wildlife, which will benefit wildlife & people for future generations.

Why we need to generate more renewable energy

I attended a very informative talk on the Green Homes Grant given by Horsham Future Forum – ‘Green Home Grants up to £5k available’.

At the beginning of the talk a quick poll of participants was taken and here are the results:

Looking at the Poll results a little more closely:

So heat generation was the most popular technology that people were considering for their homes.

Perhaps they were aware of these charts from Ovo Energy’s website, based on data from Energy Saving Trust:

Savings from home energy efficiency measures eligible for the Green Homes Grant

Potential financial savings from home improvements

*Figures are for a semi-detached gas-heated house in Great Britain. Fuel bill savings based on replacing a storage heating system, with off-peak E7 price of 9.76p/kWh and ASHP RHI tariff of 10.74p/kWh.


Potential CO2 savings from home improvements

Air source heat pumps need electricity to operate. Hence, more electricity will be needed and the lowest carbon way to generate this is from renewable sources – and they are also cheaper!

Renewable energy sources are distributed, so more needs to be generated closer to where its demanded. So, I’m really pleased that the Chichester District Council have published the Draft Climate Emergency Detailed Action Plan which contains significant generation  from local renewable energy sources:



New Park Centre Energy Advice Clinic

New Park Community Centre
New Park Rd, PO19 7XY Chichester, West Sussex
(In the Dressing Room next to the cafe)
Comfortable Waiting Area

March 10 – May 26, Weekly Tuesday Mornings (except first Tuesday of the month)
9:30 – 12:30

Are you paying too much for your energy?
Do you want a genuinely Green energy supplier?
Do you want advice on solar panels?
Is your home too cold?
Want to know what grants are available to improve the energy efficiency of your home?
Is the insulation in your home good enough?
Are you interested in a heat pump?
Do you want to put a lock on your gas hob to prevent it being used by someone with dementia?
Come and ask the experts.
This project is funded by Community Energy South so our advice is entirely impartial.

Faith and Power – Empowering hard to reach communities

Solesco has been given a small fund in order to try and bring their successful energy switching advice service to faith groups in the Chichester and Arun districts.

This fund has been supplied by Community Energy South who got the funds from UKPN

Solesco is keen to establish contact with Faith groups, so if you would like to access this service then get in touch:

This is a limited fund, so it will not last long, but please get in touch so when funds become available in the future, we can bring our service to your faith community.

Selseyworks Energy Advice Service

After receiving a grant from the Community Benefit fund of the Ferry Farm Community Solar Farm, SelseyWorks started an Energy Advice Service to help the residents of the Manhood Peninsula reduce their energy costs and consumption.

Reducing energy consumption is a great first step, lowering cost, but crucially decreasing the environmental impact of your energy consumption. Insulating your home: topping up loft insulation so that it is at least 270mm and filling the cavity, if your home has one, are good options. Also, consider LED lights as, even though they cost more, they significantly reduce consumption and in their lifetime they will pay for themselves several times over.

Switching Tariffs can also reduce cost. Unfortunately with the current energy market, loyalty doesn’t mean getting low energy bills. The best tariffs are of fixed duration, typically one year. After a year, unless you choose another tariff, you are switched to the variable tariff, which is much more expensive. Also, it is possible that you may not be on the most appropriate tariff. Recently, for a resident of Sidlesham, who had a commendable very low consumption, it was found that switching to a supplier that did not have a standing charge reduced the annual bill from £350 to £200, saving £150 per year!

The Selseyworks energy advice service can advise on reducing energy bills, how to make your home more energy efficient and comfortable, what grants are available for energy efficiency measures, access to home energy surveys, etc.

The Selseyworks energy advice service is available at the Selsey Town Hall most Thursdays; drop in or get in touch to make an appointment.

See the website:

Email via:

Phone: 01273 200975

Selseyworks have employed Solesco to provide this service.

Community Energy Fortnight 2016 – Visit to Merston Solar Farm


Community Energy Fortnight 2016

Visit to Merston Solar Farm


Date: 4 Sep 16

Time: 11:00am at Chichester Railway Station to cycle to the site

Region: West Sussex

Location: Merston (South of Chichester) – see map

Meadow Blue logoEnergy type: 5MW Solar PV

Event type: Open day

Event theme: Seeing and celebrating

Host: Meadow Blue Community Energy

Cost: Free

Book tickets for this event contact:


Meadow Blue Community Energy directors have arranged an open day to visit the 5MW solar farm at Merston between Chichester and Bognor Regis on 4th September. Investors and supporters are welcome to come. You may come along directly to the site (Midday), but for those who would like to join us on bikes, we will be leaving Chichester railway station at 11am for a short ride of just over 4 miles. You should be able to return to Chichester by 2pm, allowing for a coffee or lunch stop at the nearby Manor Farm café, which is on the way back.

For those who want to visit another local community farm and stretch their cycling legs by a further 19 miles (23 in total), there is an option for a further visit to Ferry Farm Solar near Selsey, returning to Chichester around 4pm.


Site Map – Solar Farm in Red, station marked with a star

For cycling be at Chichester Railway station for 11am.

By car or walking be at the site for Midday for the main celebration.

Google Map for cycle route.

Sussex residents embrace local energy

Meadow Blue logo£1.248 million is raised for a community solar project near Chichester, double the original target

Almost half the investors in Meadow Blue Community Energy’s community-owned solar farm in Merston near Chichester came from within 35 miles of the project.  The share offer was one of 15 launched across the country in the month following the announcement of the Treasury’s removal of Enterprise Investment Scheme tax relief on community energy projects, and raised the largest amount.

Chris Rowland Chairman of Meadow Blue Community Energy says, “We are delighted that there was an overwhelming response to our community share offer, particularly with 48% of investors coming from within 35 miles of the solar farm, including a number of existing OVESCO share holders (around 15%) all investing in the future of local clean energy. We look forward to working with our new members and locally based energy company Solesco to develop the community benefit fund to encourage local energy efficiency and low carbon sustainable projects.”

Dave Barton, Director of Meadow Blue Community Energy and locally based Solesco commented, “In three weeks we have been able to raise these funds, and in doing so giving local people a chance to invest in local renewable energy.  This is a really good message for our future generations and for tackling climate change. Solesco is proud to be involved with this project which seeks to engage local communities.”

15 community benefit societies (bencoms) running solar projects across the UK have announced their fundraising totals, with four funds securing investments of over £1 million for their share offers.

Top of the list of bencoms was Sussex’s Meadow Blue which raised £1.248 million. The share offer launched with an initial target of £640,000, but this was increased to £1.14 million following such strong demand for shares.

Jan Willem Bode of Mongoose Energy – which worked with Meadow Blue, said: “This exceptional rate of investment in community renewable projects shows there is wide-scale support for community energy to be a significant player in the industry in the UK. With it happening within a week of the announced plan to shut coal-fired stations, I think we will look back at this moment and realise this is the beginning of truly locally owned, low carbon power.

”While the removal of EIS is an odd blow for George Osborne to land on the same day as the UN Climate Change Conference, it has helped to raise awareness and interest in these opportunities and these investment figures shows that people want to invest in ethical, local energy sources.”

Emma Bridge of Community Energy England said: “Community Energy plays a key part in helping to add renewable energy capacity whilst also enabling programmes such as those that reduce energy poverty. This investment level is fantastic and really demonstrates the level of support that there is for community energy and the extra benefits it brings.”

Meadow Blue community investment target already met, so we’re releasing more community shares

Brilliant news! The original target for the Meadow Blue community share issue of £640,000 towards a community-owned solar farm between Chichester and Bognor has already been met with a week to go. So, we’ve decided to change how the project is financed in order to create more community investment and a further £500,000 of community shares have been released. This means that more investors can participate in this local renewable energy project and benefit from an expected return of around 7%.

Meadow Blue Community Energy (MBCE) is a Community Benefit Society (owned by its members, the share-holders) which will own the community solar farm that will be built at Merston. This has been developed as a partnership between Solesco, Lewes-based OVESCO and Mongoose Energy, a Wiltshire-based community energy developer.

Come and meet the team

Following a successful event at the Vicars’ Hall on Tuesday 17 November, there is another opportunity to meet the team TONIGHT at:

Oxfords Bar, Bognor Regis, on 19th November 6-9pm at, 13 High Street, Bognor Regis PO21 1RJ

There will be short presentation at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm with plenty of opportunities for questions and discussions.

Check the share offer, to invest now:
Closing date for share application is 24 November

Please consider investing in this project as it is located in our neighbourhood and will be a great way to get involved in a local renewable energy project. It will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also assist local communities with reducing energy consumption and give investors a good financial return.

Dave and Tom on behalf of Solesco