C.H.E.E.S.E. at Money Entitlement Event

This was a free event, hosted by Karin Smyth MP on November 30th at The Gatehouse, Hareclive Road. It aimed to offer people a better understanding of the financial help they may be eligible to receive, by providing an opportunity find out more about univeral credit, pensions, tax credits and so on. As the weather gets colder, there will also be information about keeping warm and saving energy, which is why we were there.

Details about the event are on a Facebook page.

Bristol City Council's unanimous vote declaring a Climate Emergency

On 13th November Bristol City Council made history by being the first UK city to declare a climate emergency for the city and to make Bristol carbon neutral by 2030. C.H.E.E.S.E. knows it has a unique role to play in the acceleration of decarbonising homes and mitigating worsening fuel poverty across the city. Bristol's Energy guru Nikki Jones has written to Marvin Rees to set the energy context for the city and help to clarity the extent of the challenges we face. In her letter she says:... read more »

Volunteering opportunities with CHEESE this winter

With our winter survey season fast approaching, we are looking for volunteers to assist with our home energy surveys. As an assistant, you will provide support to an Energy Tracer surveyor with the handling and setting up of equipment, and engagement with householders. This is a great opportunity to gain experience of our work and surveying approach, and to make a positive contribution to tacking climate change and fuel poverty. For ideas of other ways that you can help with CHEESE, please... read more »

Community Energy Awards

We are delighted to have won the national 'Community Energy and Carbon Saving Award', for "The most inspiring energy conservation and/or management project". The award was presented at this year's Community Energy Awards at the Arnolfini in Bristol. The event was hosted by Community Energy England (CEE) and Community Energy Wales (CEW). It’s fantastic that our innovative thermal imaging project has been recognised for our achievements which with support is scalable. We need to build on this... read more »

2018 project progress reports

We have recently published two reports on our last year and the 2017/18 survey season. Our progress report outlines how the project has developed. It highlights that last year was a crucial step in the project's development. We engaged with a range of community organisations, helping us to expand the project, and as such we performed the largest number of surveys in a season to date, with consistent high-quality feedback from householders. We have also been continuing to develop our... read more »

Third Energy Tracer training weekend

We ran our third Energy Tracer training weekend on the 20th/21st October, which was held at the Ambition Lawrence Weston youth centre. The training was a full two days and included the theory of thermal imaging and building construction, and introduction to the CHEESE thermal imaging equipment and hands-on experience with some practice surveying.

Job vacancies for part-time thermal-imaging surveyors, with free training

The deadline for this opportunity has now passed, and we are no longer accepting applications. We are looking for enthusiastic, sustainably-minded people to train as CHEESE Energy Tracers to conduct thermal image surveys of the interior of homes in Bristol this winter. Commencing with a course over the weekend of October 20th/21st 2018 in Bristol, this opportunity begins with free training to a CPD standard in our unique method of thermal surveying. We are offering part time work, according... read more »

Job vacancy for a thermal-imaging Survey Manager

The deadline for this opportunity has now passed, and we are no longer accepting applications. We are looking for a motivated, organised individual to manage our thermal-imaging surveys of the interior of homes this winter. Commencing early October 2018 in Bristol, this role is for 2-3 days/week until end April 2019 (with two paid weeks leave over Christmas/New Year). This period may be extended or increased if further funding becomes available. Due to the nature of our surveys it will... read more »

Redland May Fair

We had a fantastic day at Redland May Fair on the first May bank holiday weekend, which was bathed in sunshine and extremely hot. Although the weather was not ideal to people about their cold homes, we had a busy day with lots of people interested in the project and in organising surveys next winter. Note the cheese 'bait' in the photos!

CHEESE lunchtime gathering to celebrate a successful survey season

This survey season was our most successful with 91 surveys delivered. It is a considerable body of work and indeed should make a substantial difference to energy consumption and also to people's lives. To celebrate and reflect on this achievement, the CHEESE team got together for lunch at Mike Andrew's house (see photos below). This was an opportunity to debrief with each other, to discuss what went well and what could be improved next year, and a chance to share in the future of the... read more »

Completion of this winter's survey season

With the weather becoming warmer, we are drawing to the end of our 2017/18 winter surveying season. We are delighted to report that we have completed 85 surveys as of 12 March, with 3 more scheduled for this weekend. We are most encouraged to have exceeded our plan to carry out 80 surveys. And, also as planned, a third of our surveys have been done for free for householders on low incomes. This is thanks to the fantastic efforts of our dedicated survey coordinator, volunteers and volunteer... read more »

CHEESE awarded £10,000 by Bristol Community Energy Fund

We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded £10,000 by the Bristol Community Energy Fund. This will enable us to complete the current 2017/18 season and prepare for the next, including more training and videos.

It is a vote of confidence at an important time for our project, and also an acknowledgement of all the hard work that everybody has put into the project so far. Well done to you!

CHEESE social at Narrow Quay YHA

We organised an informal get together on 19 February at the Harbourside YHA. This was an opportunity for those working on the project, and others who have expressed an interest in it, to get to know each other, to ask questions and to provide their own feedback and ideas. Thanks to all who came, and we look forward to the next one, sometime in the summer.

The CHEESE response to goverment consultation on 'building a market for energy efficiency'

The government department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued a public consultation in October 2017, appealing for views on to build a market for energy efficiency. Susan Nicholls and Michael Alford Andrews of the CHEESE project compiled evidence and submitted a response, which we have published below. For reference, the consultation document can be accessed here (PDF). Contents Background: The value of thermal imaging as a tool to incentivise energy efficiency Q1.... read more »

Successful registration as a community interest company (CIC)

We are very pleased to announce that, effective from 14th February 2018, the CHEESE project is now registered as a community interest company (CIC). This status was granted by the CIC regulator on the basis that the our activities are carried out for the benefit of residents of Greater Bristol and then the United Kingdom and that they contribute to a reduction in energy loss from homes. The project also assists those who have difficulty affording their fuel bills to have more comfortable... read more »

Further funding successes

We are pleased to announce two further funding successes that will support us in delivering phase three of the project this winter. We were awarded £5,000 by the Megawatt Community Energy Fund. The fund was setup to distribute profits of the Bristol Energy Cooperative and is managed by the Quartet Community Foundation. It was a very competitive round, with many fantastic organisations, so we are very pleased to have received the money and the recognition and support of the wider community.... read more »

Second Energy Tracer Training weekend

Our second Energy Tracer training weekend was held on 21st/22nd October, again at the Ambition Lawrence Weston youth centre. The new Energy Tracer recruits learnt about the theory of thermal imaging and building construction on Saturday, and were introduced to the CHEESE thermal imaging equipment and hands-on experience with some practice surveying on Sunday. We also held a refresher session for existing Energy Tracers on Sunday to prepare them for the upcoming survey season.

Success at the The Funding Network evening

We are delighted to have received encouraging support from the members of The Funding Network (Bristol) at a live funding evening at TLT LLP solicitors on 12th October. Mike Andrews made a six-minute presentation, supported by Green Party Councillor Jerome Thomas and CHEESE members, and we were rewarded with personal funding bids totalling £5,000. This money will make a valuable contribution to our operations this winter.

Opportunities to work on the CHEESE project this winter

We are currently looking for enthusiastic people to help with the upcoming survey season, in paid and voluntary positions. See below for details. Energy Tracer training We are running a free training course for CHEESE Energy Tracers on the weekend of 7th and 8th October, 2017. We expect a commitment to help with/carry out at least one survey a week (on average) during the 19-week season, from November until the end of March 2018, with a break over Christmas, from 10th to 31st December.... read more »

CHEESE at Goram Fair, September 2017

We had our gazebo stall at this year's Goram Fair. We didn't escape the rain but it didn't seem to put people off from coming.

CHEESE at Bristol Green Capital 10th Anniversary event & Green Mingle

More details here.

CHEESE at Redland May Fair

This year's Redland May Fair was hugely successful and attracted large crowds on a beautiful sunny day. We spoke to lots of people about the warmth of their homes, retrofit and the value of having a CHEESE thermal imaging survey. That was until the heavens opened and we all got very wet. Thank you to Bristol Energy Network who kindly lent us their new gazeebo.

Phase two complete

We have come to the end of our winter 2016/17 surveying season, and completion of phase two of the CHEESE project. Despite some difficulties with funding early on in the season, we are pleased to be able to report some impressive achievements. The pilot last year was led by thermal imaging expert Brian Harper, who conducted the surveys with trainee CHEESE surveyors and provided his own equipment and energy-saving boxes from his project in Malvern. This year however, we have recruited and... read more »

CHEESE at the Easton Food Assembly

Nick and Jamie were at the Food Assembly meeting in Easton community centre to spread the word about CHEESE (not to sell any!).

Health and Safety for home visits workshop

The Centre for Sustainable Energy provided a training session this weekend for trainee CHEESE Energy Tracers on health and safety for home visits. This provided a forum to discuss the expectations of the surveyor and the householder and issues associated with visiting peoples homes, including the risks. In the pictures below, the instructor Anna Watts (from CSE) and the CHEESE Energy Tracers, with the visible light and thermal versions of the picture.

First Energy Tracer training session

We ran a successful first training session for Energy Tracers surveyors on 9th/10th October, held at the Ambition Lawrence Weston youth centre. This was a full two days, which included the theory of thermal imaging and building construction, and introduction to the CHEESE thermal imaging equipment and hands-on experience with some practice surveying.

At the Bristol Energy Hub, April 2016

Bristol Energy kindly invited the CHEESE project to run a stall on 2nd and 9th April in their new Energy Hub, located on the Bristol Harbourside. This was a great opportunity to showcase the achievements and ambitions of CHEESE to members of the public.