Category Archives: Energy

Stay warm and save money this winter with PEDAL’s free energy saving guide

PEDAL has pro­duced a guide to sav­ing energy at home, writ­ten by energy experts and avail­able on-line and in paper copy. The book­let answers some fre­quently asked ques­tions and sug­gests a range of ways you can make your home more energy effi­cient – from using energy sav­ing products to chan­ging the way you run your home, and from installing insu­la­tion to gen­er­at­ing your own renew­able energy.

There are lots of tips with check­lists in this book­let for you to record what you’ve looked at and done. We’ve included actions that are appro­pri­ate for older houses and tene­ments, as well as newly built ones.

You can down­load a copy here — PEDAL Energy Saving Booklet

Printed cop­ies are avail­able from:

  • Portobello Library
  • Portobello Town Hall
  • Portobello Community Centre (Adelphi Grove)
  • Portobello Swim Centre (Promenade)
  • Earthy (Windsor Place)
  • Woodwares (Portobello High Street)
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (Bath Street)
  • St James’ Church Hall (Rosefield Place)
  • Portobello Old Parish Church (Bellfield Street)
  • St Phillip’s Church Hall (Brunstane Road North)
  • Portobello Market (Brighton Park, first Saturday of every month)

Thank You!

A huge thank you to all who voted for us on – we won, beat­ing com­pet­i­tion from nearly 1,000 oth­er com­munity renew­ables pro­jects from around the UK! And thanks also to those who passed the mes­sage round their net­works encour­aging oth­ers to vote.

The prize is fund­ing to com­plete feas­ib­il­ity and site invest­ig­a­tion work for a com­munity-owned wind tur­bine on land at Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works.  The fund­ing is very wel­come but just as valu­able is the demon­stra­tion of massive sup­port from loc­al people for the project.

With best wishes,

PEDAL and Greener Leith

A short plea from the Energyshare voting event in London

A short plea by video from volun­teer and tur­bine pro­ject stal­wart Chas Booth on why you should vote for the Porty & Leith Community Wind Energy Project:

Chas was speak­ing from the Energyshare final vot­ing event in London today.

Thanks for rep­res­ent­ing, Chas!

You can vote for us (before 5PM) at

Motion in Parliament for Turbine Support

Today, Rob Gibson, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross (Scottish National Party) placed the fol­low­ing motion in the Scottish Parliament:

Motion S4M-01448 — Rob Gibson (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (Scottish National Party) : Vote, Vote, Vote for Strathpeffer, Portobello and Leith

That the Parliament con­grat­u­lates Strathpeffer Community Centre in Ross-shire and Portobello and Leith Community Wind Energy Project in Edinburgh for mak­ing it through to the final round of vot­ing in the con­test to receive fund­ing toward com­ple­tion of their com­munity renew­ables and energy sav­ing pro­jects; notes that they are the only Scottish pro­jects to make it through to the final round and con­grat­u­lates them on what it sees as their drive and tenacity in pur­su­ing their pro­jects to this stage; notes that they have chosen St Andrew’s Day, Scotland’s nation­al day, to launch a cam­paign for Scots to sup­port their two pro­jects; notes that both pro­jects have engaged with the loc­al com­munity in the pro­mo­tion of renew­able energy and energy  sav­ing; con­siders that com­munity-owned renew­ables and energy sav­ing can make an import­ant con­tri­bu­tion to tack­ling cli­mate change and redu­cing fuel bills, and encour­ages all those who sup­port com­munity-owned renew­ables and energy sav­ing to register their sup­port for these pro­jects on the web­site by 3 December 2011.

Supported by: Sandra White, Annabelle Ewing, Angus MacDonald, David Torrance, John Finnie, Dennis Robertson

You can also view this motion on the Scottish Parliament web­site.

Scottish Community Groups Make St Andrew’s Day Appeal for Support

Two Scottish com­munity renew­able energy pro­jects have teamed up to
make a St. Andrew’s Day appeal for sup­port. The two pro­jects – one
from Edinburgh and the oth­er from Strathpeffer in the Highlands – have
chosen Scotland’s nation­al day to appeal for online votes to help them
win fund­ing from the Energyshare fund.

River Cottage and Scottish Gas are put­ting power in the hands of the
people from across Scotland by encour­aging them to vote in their
Energyshare Fund, a new green ini­ti­at­ive giv­ing the pub­lic a say on
where hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds should be spent to help local
com­munity energy projects.

The energy­share fund will enable com­munit­ies to gen­er­ate renewable
energy which will cre­ate an income stream to sup­port a vari­ety of
com­munity activities.

Strathpeffer Community Centre in Ross-shire and Portobello & Leith
Community Wind Energy Project in Edinburgh are two loc­ally run
com­munity pro­jects from Scotland who have made it through to the last
19 schemes (out of nearly 1000) in a bid to win the funding.

Portobello & Leith Community Wind Energy Project

Portobello & Leith Community Wind Energy Project would see a
com­munity-owned wind tur­bine built at Seafield in Edinburgh. In 2010,
PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town and Greener Leith, star­ted working
togeth­er to explore the feas­ib­il­ity of a wind tur­bine on land at
Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works in Edinburgh. If suc­cess­ful, this
will be the first com­munity-owned large scale wind pro­ject in a UK

Charlotte Encombe, Chair of Greener Leith said: “Portobello & Leith
Community Wind Energy Project has the poten­tial to make a big
dif­fer­ence to car­bon emis­sions and gen­er­ate sub­stan­tial fund­ing for
the next 25 years for loc­al sus­tain­able devel­op­ment pro­jects which in
the cur­rent eco­nom­ic cli­mate simply would not be considered
afford­able. If we are suc­cess­ful, the fund­ing will be a big step
towards real­ity for a pro­ject that could reduce CO2 emis­sions from
elec­tri­city gen­er­a­tion by between 400 and 2000 tonnes per year over
the life­time of the install­a­tion. We’d like as many Scots as possible
to show their sup­port on this St. Andrew’s Day and vote for Portobello
& Leith Community Wind Energy Project by visiting

Eva Schonveld, Chair of PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town said: “We
are delighted to have got this far in the Energyshare com­pet­i­tion, but
if we are to turn our renew­able vis­ion into real­ity, we really need
Scots the world over to sup­port our pro­ject on St. Andrew’s Day.”


Locally run, Strathpeffer Community Centre is open to all the
com­munity. Despite being only 10 years old, the centre is not energy
effi­cient. The centre wants to be more effi­cient and reduce costs so
that the money the char­ity raises can go on activ­it­ies for the
com­munity and not on keep­ing the centre heated. They are concentrating
on installing prac­tic­al energy sav­ing meas­ures includ­ing automatic
entrance doors, motion sens­ing light switches and loft insulation.

Clara Hickey, Strathpeffer Community Centre Manager said: “We are
delighted to be in the final nine­teen com­munity groups selec­ted by
Scottish Gas and River Cottage to win the energy­share prize.  We are
call­ing on people from across Scotland to vote for us as our project
is based on the prac­tic­al things we can do to the centre to make it
more effi­cient and so save money on our elec­tri­city bill, small
changes will mean a lot to us and our com­munity. We have had a great
deal of sup­port from our vil­lage but need the whole of Scotland to now
get behind us and vote for us. We hope as many people cast their vote
for Strathpeffer by vis­it­ing”

River Cottage’s Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall said:“We have already seen
at com­munit­ies who through either sav­ing money on
their energy bills or cre­at­ing income though energy gen­er­a­tion have
rein­vig­or­ated key com­munity facil­it­ies. The fund­ing avail­able is not
simply about tur­bines or sol­ar PV, it’s about enabling people to make
their com­munit­ies more sus­tain­able – both envir­on­ment­ally and

Gearoid Lane, Managing Director of British Gas New Markets, said:
“We’re see­ing a genu­ine groundswell of interest around the country
from com­munit­ies want­ing to gen­er­ate their own clean, green energy.
Energyshare is the first ini­ti­at­ive of its kind that allows people to
have their say in how com­munit­ies save and gen­er­ate their own energy.”

There will be four recip­i­ents of fund­ing, decided entirely by the
pub­lic via a vote that is tak­ing place at
There are three cat­egor­ies: small, medi­um and large and people can
vote once in each category.

Strathpeffer is with­in the small cat­egory and Portobello and Leith
Community Wind Energy Project is with­in the medi­um cat­egory. They are
the only groups that have reached this final stage from Scotland.So
they hope to gain as much loc­al sup­port as they can in addi­tion to
inspir­ing oth­ers across Britain with their excit­ing plans.

The pub­lic vote opened on 15 November and the win­ners will be
announced on 3rd December.

Anyone vot­ing can become a win­ner too — River Cottage is giv­ing away 5
books every day to voters.  Plus, for the energy­share Group who gets
the most sup­port­ers vot­ing, they can scoop a £1,000 cash prize.

Get involved now at

Please vote for us!

Out of nearly 1,000 par­ti­cip­at­ing pro­jects from across the UK, PEDAL and Greener Leith’s pro­pos­al for a com­munity wind tur­bine at Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works is in the final 19 that might win fund­ing from Energyshare!   We are in the medi­um pro­jects cat­egory and so stand to win up to £80,000 towards the project.

Vote for us HERE 

Please note you only get one vote per pro­ject cat­egory.

If you are already a sup­port­er of our pro­ject on the Energyshare web­site, please note this is not the same as vot­ing! All sup­port­ers will still need to place their votes if they want us to win the fund­ing. Winning pro­jects will only be judged on num­bers of votes, not num­bers of supporters.

We have pro­duced an updated set of Frequently Asked Questions for those who are inter­ested in find­ing out ore about the pro­ject and how it is progressing.

Spread the word

Please ask your friends, col­leagues and neigh­bours if they can sup­port us, by for­ward­ing this mail, adding the Energyshare vot­ing wid­get (avail­able on the right of this web­site or on the EnergyShare web­site) to your web­site site and/or Facebook page, or through Twitter — ask­ing them to vote for Portobello & Leith Community Wind Energy Project. Pleas note you can sign up to Energyshare using your Facebook account if you prefer this to using your e‑mail account.

Thank you

A huge thanks you to all our sup­port­ers. We’re really pleased to have got this far, and clearly we couldn’t have done it without your help.

Support for tur­bine fly­er — vote for us

Fintry Film Launch: A Scottish Village Benefits from Wind Energy

Fintry Development Trust has today released a short doc­u­ment­ary that shows how com­munit­ies can bene­fit from invest­ing in renew­able energy. The vil­lage of Fintry in Stirlingshire is a primary example of a com­munity that has embraced renew­able energy – and benefited greatly.

The short doc­u­ment­ary film Wind of Change has been released online.  It shows how Fintry, with its 300 house­holds, became the first vil­lage in the UK to enter a joint-ven­ture agree­ment with a wind farm developer. Instead of fight­ing the plans for the 14-tur­bine devel­op­ment, they con­vinced the renew­able developers to add an addi­tion­al tur­bine for the vil­lage to the pro­posed wind farm. Fintry now receives an aver­age of approx­im­ately £30,000-£50,000 a year in rev­en­ue from the wind tur­bine and is invest­ing the money to the bene­fit of the entire com­munity. Fintry Development Trust man­age the income stream from the tur­bine and has provided free insu­la­tion to more than half of the house­holds in the vil­lage and is now embark­ing on new ambi­tious pro­jects to even­tu­ally make Fintry a sus­tain­able, zero waste and zero car­bon community.

Wind of Change fol­lows the Fintry com­munity as it car­ries out a num­ber of these pro­jects such as installing micro-renew­able heat­ing sys­tems, plant­ing a com­munity orch­ard and open­ing a wood­land area for the loc­al primary school. The 15-minute doc­u­ment­ary was pro­duced by Edinburgh-based film­maker Cornelia Reetz. It premiered at the UK Green Film Festival in Leeds and Glasgow and will be broad­cast on the Community Channel in a few weeks time. You now have a chance to watch the film online on the fol­low­ing web­site:

Car Free Day Bike & Boat Parade!

Here is the report we sent to who want to use pho­tos of this and oth­er events hap­pen­ing across the plan­et today to pro­ject onto the UN build­ing in New York and let the powers that be know that the people will carry on lead­ing until the lead­ers follow:

“Here in Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland, the sun shone and 50 folk turned out on their bicycles to cel­eb­rate a world mov­ing bey­ond fossil fuels.

“Another dozen folk on row­ing skiffs from our loc­al row­ing club joined in row­ing along the shore next to the cyc­lists as we pro­cessed to the site of what we hope will become the first com­munity owned urb­an tur­bine in the UK. The bicycles and boats were full of people of all ages, and the cyclists were led by a bike dec­or­ated as a great green dragon! With earth flags fly­ing and ban­ners read­ing “100% renew­able energy now” we enjoyed the sun­shine and renewed our hope that com­munity action — such as the com­munity orch­ard and oth­er food grow­ing pro­jects we have begun, and insu­la­tion pro­jects and the pro­posed com­munity tur­bine — can help ensure our chil­dren look back with hap­pi­ness at what we have done to ensure their lives are blessed with renew­able energy and renewed communities.”

We were blessed with won­der­ful sun­shine for Car Free Day 2011 (poster here), and we had a good turnout of all ages, earth flags, bikes, scoot­ers and row­ing skiffs.

We met at 2pm at the Cake Stand at the bot­tom of Marlborough Street, waited for the two row­ing skiffs to get ready with their earth flags fly­ing, then set off cyc­ling along the Prom to the beach below the pro­posed com­munity tur­bine site at Seafield. This year Our Car Free Day was held on inter­na­tion­al ‘Moving Planet’ Day of action (September 24th.)

Some folk spent the morn­ing at the Orch­ard for the Equinox monthly work day and then cycled down to join every­one for the 2pm start. Others joined the ‘Moving Planet: mov­ing bey­ond fossil fuels’ March and Rally at Holyrood before cyc­ling down to join our bike and boat parade. Others man­aged to fin­ish the shop­ping, or even get out of bed, in time to join us!

We had thought of hold­ing a time tri­al (see­ing how well a car, a bike, a skate­board, a skiff do racing against each oth­er if none of them are fossil fuelled!) but were informed by the police that all vehicles (except work vehicles) are banned from the Prom — which is a very good thing!

Ok, why not try to guess which of these four pho­tos chose to run with, and then think what title they might have giv­en it?

You can find out the photo and the unex­pec­ted title by click­ing HERE!

Blow me! An urban wind farm

Great piece on the STV news about our pro­posed tur­bine. Also the Evening News has a story on the wind tur­bine plans. (Thanks to all who’ve registered their sup­port on the Energyshare site — we cur­rently have 227 sup­port­ers, and have moved up to 1st place, but we need to stay there, and that aint going to be easy! If you haven’t signed up yet, get on over to The Evening News edit­or­i­al (bot­tom of this page, under the ‘Sick Kids’ lead­er) is also help­fully supportive.

There’s also a fas­cin­at­ing art­icle on loc­al cur­ren­cies by Steve Burgess (with help from Justin and Eva).


Back our Energyshare bid to boost community power

What the proposed wind turbine might look like

Artist’s impres­sion of the pro­posed wind turbine

A unique part­ner­ship between two Edinburgh com­munity groups has been estab­lished to devel­op a com­munity owned wind tur­bine on the coast between Portobello and Leith.

We would really appre­ci­ate it if you, your fam­ily, neigh­bours and friends back our bid by click­ing on the title in the box on the right to reach the web­site, and regis­ter­ing your sup­port for our tur­bine project!

PEDAL – Portobello Transition Town and Greener Leith have joined forces to con­duct detailed feas­ib­il­ity work on a site with­in the Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works. Early sur­veys sug­gest a wind tur­bine on this site has the poten­tial to gen­er­ate enough renew­able energy to sup­ply the annu­al elec­tri­city needs of 300‑1300 house­holds, depend­ing on the size of tur­bine installed. Continue read­ing