Round up of the week

basleMonday evening’s meeting this week saw a visitor from a village just outside Basle telling us how much money the French government is spending to subsidise the cost of household solar water heating and electricity generation. Samuel now earns around £1,000 a year from selling electricity generated on his house, and has free hot water from March to September. This means the whole installation will pay for itself after about 7 years and is still guaranteed to last for another 13 after that. This French ‘feed in tariff’ is not quite as good as Germany’s, and only slightly ahead of the rate the UK will be introducing next year.

flashmobWe also talked about the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December, when world leaders will be agreeing what actions to take about climate change.

We decided to join in the worldwide “Wake Up Call” event which is happening on Monday, and to organise what we think will be Farnham’s very first flashmob event.

It promises to be a fun occasion, so for more details and to join in, click here.

Slightly more prosaically we also finalised the process we are going to use to decide how to spend our group funds.

Finally, congratulations this week to Farnham Transitioneers Paula Burgess, who has started her MSc in Sustainability at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, and to Eloise Grey who has opened her first shop (above Purity in Downing Street), selling fine ethical and organic clothing made in the UK. Good luck to both of them, and also to all who are coming to the Transition Training in Farnham this weekend!

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One Response to Round up of the week

  1. Mike Clements says:

    Eco-aid for low-energy homes in France
    (From Ministère du Logement)
    The builder or buyer of a new energy-saving principal home can benefit from January 2009 by larger interest-free loans up to 20,000 euros, increased tax allowance on mortgage interest and possibly exemption from property tax.
    These benefits to encourage sustainable housing, will enable running costs to be reduced, and the extra costs of eco-homes to be offset.
    What property?
    New homes certified as low-energy, with high performance insulation and low-energy heating, i.e. a maximum of 50kWh per square metre per year, which is two to four times less than the normal building regulations requirement. The standard varies according to the geographical location and level, it is stricter for a home in Bordeaux than for one in Lille. The additional interest-free loan corresponds to the average extra cost of acquiring such a property.
    Each year for seven years the owner can benefit from a tax credit equal to 40% of his mortgage interest.
    This increase is significant in relation to the normal financial arrangement of 40% the first year and 20% in each of the four following years.
    If the tax credit is higher than the total tax for which he is liable, or if he is not taxable at all, he will be re-imbursed up to the full amount as if he had sufficient taxable income.
    Exemption from local taxes
    Buyers of certified dwellings may be exempt totally or partially for at least five years according to the local authority’s decision.
    Interest-free Eco-loans
    An interest-free loan up to 30,000 euros without charge, is available from January 2009 to owners or tenants who wish to carry out major energy-saving improvements to their principal homes such as roof, wall and window insulation and heating and hot water from renewable sources. The loan is repayable over 10 years.
    Tax credit for sustainable development
    Until 2012 it will be possible for owner-occupiers and tenants to deduct from their income tax between 25 and 50% of the costs of reducing the energy consumption or creating a more ecological heating system in an existing dwelling. This can include thermal insulation, heating programmer, condensing boiler, solar or wood-fired heating, heat pump, energy auditing. The maximum individual cost allowable per person, within a five year period is 8000 euros or 16,000 euros for a couple.

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