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Ashden Awards 2015

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 8 June 2015 at 6:05 pm

This week will see the winners announced for the highly prestigious Ashden Awards. Ashden is a charity that supports the leaders in sustainable energy to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world and each year it holds an awards ceremony to celebrate excellence in the fields of green energy and energy efficiency.

This Thursday the UK  finalists will present their work at a major seminar (a few tickets are still available to book online), followed by a ceremony where all the winners both international and national will be announced. The organisations shortlisted for the 2015 UK Award are:

Beat the Cold, Demand Logic, Enistic, Shine, Low Carbon Hub, Max Fordham and TGV Hydro

Beat the Cold in Stoke-on-Trent is helping vulnerable households to heat their homes to a comfortable level. They provide advocacy, advice and practical measures to help those most in need.

Demand Logic has created a cloud-based gadget that plugs into a building’s management systems (BMS) to quickly identify ‘energy insanities’.  Generating huge savings and cuts (an estimated £390,000 off one organisation’s  £5m annual energy bill).

Oxfordshire-based Enistic installs smart wireless metering hardware to keep track of energy use in a building, down to the level of individual plug sockets if desired. Allowing for cuts in energy use and their bills. Enistic already has over 200 clients, including universities, hospitals, schools and blue-chip companies.

In the London Borough of Islington, SHINE, is helping people cut around £200 a year off their fuel bills.  It accepts referrals from 86 different local agencies and provides support and advice on issues such as fuel debt, energy efficiency and social isolation. Over 8,500 households have been helped since the initiative started in 2010.

The Low Carbon Hub, with financial backing from Oxford City Council, has raised nearly £1.7m from the local community to invest in 21 solar PV installations on the roofs of local businesses and schools. Helping schools and businesses reduce their fuel bills and providing a financial return for investors.

Fordham has worked for nearly 50 years developing sustainable building services. It helps its clients cut their energy use by up to 30% through increasing natural light and ventilation and installing energy-efficient equipment. Occupants are also helped to make the most efficient use of their new building after moving in.

TGV Hydro is developing micro hydro projects for private and community ownership across South Wales. Some 23 sites are either complete or under construction with an installed capacity of over 466 kWs.

It’s not just organisations in the UK that are progressing these innovative projects.

The International Awards shortlist is made up of the following:

Bright Green Energy Foundation from Bangladesh, Enertiva from Costa Rica, Sarhad Rural Support Programme from Pakistan and Vo Trong Nghia Architects from Vietnam. Three finalists from India: Greenlight Planet project, Mahindra Lifespaces and SunBest and two from Kenya: SteamaCo and BURN Manufacturing.

Bright Green Energy Foundation (Bangladesh) has installed over 125,000 solar home systems that provide lighting and phone charging across rural Bangladesh, bringing light and power to approximately one million people..  

BURN (Kenya) has developed a step-change in the design and efficiency of charcoal-burning cookstoves, halving fuel use and proving saving time in cooking compared to the traditional one. More than 41,000 of these stoves have already been sold at an affordable price, helping improve air quality in homes and protecting trees. All manufacture is local and half its workforce is women.

Enertiva (Costa Rica) is supporting local cattle farmers with its new specially designed solar water heaters that supply hot water for washing their milking equipment and milk tanks.

Greenlight Planet (India) has manufactured a range of very versatile solar lamps which provide more powerful and longer lasting light than previous models. Making sure the lamps reach the people who need them most and helping people work, study and play.

Mahindra Lifespaces (India) has developed attractive low-carbon homes in Mumbai and other urban areas in India. Taking in consideration orientation, insulation and efficient lighting measures for energy saving, thereby, lowering fuel costs and cutting carbon emissions, with a pay-back period of seven years through savings on fuel bills.

Sarhad Rural Support Programme (Pakistan) is a programme of harnessing the power of rivers and building micro-hydro schemes to power desolated regions, providing opportunities for income-generating activities and education.

EcoCasa (Mexico) is working in conjunction with banks to offer soft loans to local building developers in return for them creating sustainable homes. Developers must build social housing with at least 20% lower carbon emissions than standard designs, without increasing the sale price.

SteamaCo (Kenya) is an initiative where rural communities in Kenya are benefiting from clean light and power for the first time, thanks to local renewable energy micro-grids. Supplying enough energy to run small businesses, as well as power TVs, radios and bright lights in the home.

SunBest (India): Indian tea and spice makers are saving money and reducing their carbon footprints by using solar energy in their production processes.

Vo Trong Nghia Architects (Vietnam) is using Bamboo, one of the fastest-growing and most versatile plants, as a construction material in large modern buildings. It is incorporating natural ventilation and daylight to reduce energy use, plants to shade walls and roofs and to provide natural cooling. The forward-thinking company has also developed a prototype self-assembly bamboo house for low-income families.

For more information on all of the above projects, or to book a ticket, see the Ashden website.

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