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News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 10 Winter 2009

Woodbridge in transition

Did you know that Woodbridge has become a Transition Town? As I write at the end of October the Suffolk Coastal District Council is running a Training for Transition course for all who want to know how to set up and run a Transition Initiative. It must be important.

As its name suggests, transition is about making a change in this case moving from our reliance on peak oil (reserves that have peaked and are now in decline) to a more sustainable, localized life-style. This, we are told, will not only help to promote energy alternatives to fossil fuels, but will also help to combat climate change by reducing our carbon emissions.

There is now a national Transition Network (www.transitiontowns.org) with towns like Woodbridge setting up action groups. Like councils up and down the country we have a Suffolk Climate Change Partnership and even a Suffolk Energy Action Link (SEAL) to help you improve your domestic energy efficiency. The aim: transition to a lower carbon local economy and Suffolk Coastal has an Environmental Sustainability Officer, Debbie Wargate (01394 444747) to prove it

Drive into traffic-congested Woodbridge on a school day morning and you may not see too much evidence of transition in action. Supermarket car parks are often overflowing, off-peak buses travel light and large numbers of homes remain overheated and under insulated. We are used to certain types of lifestyle, but can we change to get more out of less?

In a consumer society this is seen as one of the great challenges of being greener. Many of us could make fewer journeys car and plane turn the heating down a touch and be more selective in what we buy. By the same token many of us dont feel we have quite enough already. Someone has to make the pill easier to swallow. The Transition Movement is trying to do just that. Firstly, they offer opportunities to meet up with experts and like-minded individuals to find out what you can do. They can also point you towards advice and grants such as the Greener Homes Interest-Free Loans from Ipswich & Suffolk Credit Union (call SEAL on 0800 0288938) and advice on how to make your home more energy efficient from the Energy Saving Trust (0800 512 012) and Energy Action Link (0800 0288 938). You can talk to the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership on 01473 432096.

Next April a domestic renewable energy installation solar panels or even a mini wind turbine will look more viable. Feed-in tariffs for the renewable energy you can sell to the grid rise from 15 to 36.5 pence per kwh and the price of renewable energy equipment like solar panels should come down.