In 2019 Humshaugh residents decided to explore approaches to achieving Government and Northumberland County Council Net Zero targets. To provide an evidence base funding was obtained for a survey to establish the carbon footprint of the village. This was completed in May 2020. Over 110 households responded (>30% of the village), and over 60 respondents indicated that they wished to become directly involved in future activities. In addition to defining the carbon footprint, the survey identified local renewable energy generation as a favoured approach to reducing carbon emissions. Decreasing overall energy use, reducing reliance on heating oil and LPG, and improving energy efficiency were also highlighted. Productive discussions were held with Humshaugh Parish Council, Northumberland County Council and Community Action Northumberland. The enthusiastic response of the community to the survey, and willingness to engage in action, led to the formation of Humshaugh Net Zero.
Our proposal is to identify a viable approach to low carbon energy generation, particularly electricity, in the Parish of Humshaugh through an initial high-level review followed by detailed studies of specific technologies, for example: hydro (the North Tyne river bounds the Parish), wind and solar (potential sites have been identified). Access to the local electricity grid will be key to distributing electricity generated by local renewable schemes, and proposals raised in the draft Local Electricity Bill and similar initiatives will be explored and supported.