WHARFEDALE residents are getting together to find out how to reduce their carbon footprint and generate more renewable energy.

Climate Action Ilkley (CAI) and sister groups in Wharfedale from Addingham to Otley are collaborating to find out how best to reduce energy usage, install solar panels and other renewables, and get a good deal from energy suppliers.

A spokesperson for Climate Action Ilkley said: “Solar panels are one initial focus as their price has fallen dramatically in recent years.

“Since the government scaled down and finally withdrew Feed-In Tariffs in March this year installation of panels has slumped. However, from 2020 energy suppliers are required to offer a Smart Export Guarantee for electricity flowing from new panels into the local grid.

“The value of payments has not been announced but some suppliers may offer a better rate to groups of householders/ businesses than to individuals. Climate Action Ilkley (CAI) would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in installing panels or in any other aspect of energy conservation or generation, please email climateactionilkley@gmail.com.”

To inform and inspire people CAI has arranged a public meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday, September 11 at The Clarke Foley Centre.

Emma Bridge, Chief Executive of Community Energy England, will speak on ‘A People Powered Future for Ilkley’.

Emma’s expertise has means she is widely sought after to share her knowledge. She is currently on the expert panels of three EU projects focused on community energy and sits on a number of national energy advisory groups.

CAI is also planning other major events: on Sunday, September 22 from 2pm to 5pm there will be a celebration of World Car Free Day on The Grove.

People will be encouraged to leave their cars at home and enjoy live music, activities for children, yoga, demonstrations of electric bikes and information on how everyone can all reduce their carbon footprints.

Then on the evening of Thursday, October 3 there will be a talk by Ilkley resident Professor Tim Benton, who is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and an author of the Special Report on Food, Land and Climate which attracted recent headlines highlighting the need to greatly reduce meat and dairy consumption.

His talk is titled ‘Climate change - are our food habits the problem or the solution?’

The talk takes place at the Clarke Foley Centre at 7.15pm.

Details of all these events are on the Climate Action Ilkley website at https://climateactionilkley.org/events