THE national 10:10 Campaign which aims to inspire a 10 per cent reduction in the UK’s carbon emissions reached its first milestone this month after it was launched by film director, Franny Armstrong, one year ago.

On Sunday, October 10, 2010 – or simply 10.10.10 – an array of events around the country revealed just how far the idea had caught on as many people demonstrated their own practical action to help reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.

Locally, the Transition Evesham Vale and Transition Pershore initiatives have spearheaded attempts to make a difference to the way people generate and consume energy in their homes.

Worcestershire County Council also signed up to the 10:10 Campaign, but despite Wychavon having one of the largest carbon footprints in the county – 8.7 tonnes, compared to 6.2 in Bromsgrove and 6.1 in Worcester – Wychavon District Council did not.

Under the UK Climate Change Act 2008 the country must cut its total emissions by 34 per cent. It means Britain is one of the first countries in the world to have a legally binding, long-term framework to cut carbon emissions, while also ensuring the country builds on its ability to adapt to climate change.

Prof Stephen Martin, from South Littleton, is one of a number of people, dubbed the ‘Solar Generation’, who have been quick to pick up the baton thrown down by Ms Armstrong and contribute to the national effort by installing micro-generation systems in their homes.

He said: “Micro-generation means generating your own power from the sun, wind or water. It’s all the natural sources of power that exist which are not dependent on oil or other carbon-based systems.”

This can take the form of solar or photo-voltaic panels on the roof of properties, solar hot water systems, small scale wind turbines, plant microbial fuel cells and ground source heat pumps.

Prof Martin, a member of Transition Evesham Vale, added: “I have both photo-voltaic panels and a solar hot water system which negates the necessity to rely on gas.

"To install the photo-voltaic panels cost £14,000 but I got a grant for 50 per cent of this from the Government. It cost £4,000 for the solar hot water system, taking the total cost to £11,000.

“I think prices for this technology will decrease over time, much like has happened with computers, but since installing our photo-voltaic panels we have reduced the electricity we buy from the grid by 40 per cent, while the solar thermal installation for heating hot water has reduced our gas consumption by 15 per cent.

"This is good news in respect of reducing our carbon footprint and fuel costs.”

While prices for green technology remain high – a solar panel can cost anything from £100 to £5,000 – more generous Government feed-in tariffs are making the initial cost of installing it more palatable.

John Porter, from Evesham, installed six photo-voltaic panels on the roof of his cottage this summer.

He said: “Over the three months since they have generated more than three times the power we have used.

“As I don’t use electricity for heat I should generate more than I use annually, and according to the installers, this means I should stand to earn about £500 a year from the current I feed into the National Grid.”

Rev David Haslam, treasurer of Transition Evesham Vale, said: “It has been a good year for solar cells with plenty of sunshine, and we have generated more than 700 kilowatt hours even with only six photo-voltaic panels.

"In addition to avoiding quite a lot of carbon emissions, we should have made over £300 from the feed-in tariffs.”

The Vale is home to one of the UK’s most eco-friendly houses in the form of the Cropthorne Autonomous House, in Middle Lane, Cropthorne. In Pershore, a licence has been granted for a hydropower generator on the Avon, while Evesham Vale Growers is considering installing an anaerobic digester to recycle waste products into energy to heat its glass houses.

Secretary of Transition Pershore, Coun Val Wood, said the organisation was going from strength to strength and now had 50 members.

She said: “The idea has really taken off in the past 12 months as people become more aware of the potential problems. You cannot do this type of thing without the community, because the community is at the heart of it. People have to care.”

Meanwhile, Worcestershire County Council announced this week it is on track to save an ambitious 700 tonnes of CO2 as part of the 10:10 Campaign, and has urged pople to visit 1010 for ideas on ways in which they can help reduce emissions.

For more information on Transition Evesham Vale visit transitioneves, while for more information on Transition Pershore visit