2008 Forest Fuels Winner 2008: Best Business Innovation Forest Fuels Ltd has grown to fill an identified gap in the market to supply high-quality woodfuel to the growing biomass market in the region. Prior to Forest Fuel's service, no single company had acted to provide fuel supply contracts throughout the region. They revolutionised the supply of woodfuel in the south west by providing professional long-term contracts, developing a highly flexible mobile chipping service, and establishing six depots for local handling, storage and delivery. This has brought confidence to those considering installing biomass boilers. It is an exemplary model for biomass development, and without Forest Fuels' presence, many of the projects that proceeded in the last year may not have done so. Bristol City Council Winner 2008: Most Proactive Local Authority Bristol City Council has dramatically increased its work on sustainable energy, putting an increasing numbers of policies in to place. These include a target to reduce the council's carbon emissions by three per cent year-on-year, the introduction of a self-funded energy management unit, and the setting up of a climate change select committee, which had the task of reviewing all the council's actions with regard to climate change. It has promoted and installed an expanding cluster of biomass boilers, driven forward the development of two 3 MW turbines at Avonmouth docks, and its recycling scheme has included 93 projects which save 1297 tonnes of CO2 a year. The council is also supporting the growth of the sustainable energy sector through the BETS (Bristol Environmental Technologies and Services Sector) initiative. Bovey Climate Action Winner 2008: Best Sustainable Energy Community Bovey Climate Action runs many schemes within the local community to reduce carbon emissions. These include Wastewatchers - a free home-energy audit to measure a household's carbon footprint - which has resulted in an average reduction in carbon emissions of 13 per cent per house. It is also driving forward a plan for a community-scale combined heat and power plant, managing a Hamster project which loans energy display monitors to pupils at local primary schools, giving free low-energy lightbulbs to every household in Bovey which completes a home energy conservation form, and generally raising community awareness about sustainable energy and energy efficiency. Okehampton Business Centre Winner 2008: Best Small Renewable Energy Scheme (below 100 kW) The Okehampton Business Centre is a beacon of sustainable construction in the region and is accredited with both BRE BREEAM and ICE CEEQUAL excellent awards. Built between spring 2006 and summer 2008, the project consists of a centre housing 13 offices and three workshops for new and emerging businesses. Renewable energy is generated from a 45 kW biomass boiler, a 6 kW turbine and a 50 m2 photovoltaic array, which will offset 55 to 90 per cent of the building's annual carbon dioxide emissions. Through a careful liaison and siting process, the project successfully obtained the first planning permission for a wind turbine that the local authority has ever granted. The building also incorporates a wealth of sustainability and energy efficiency measures, from high levels of insulation to a sustainable drainage system. The Okehampton Business Centre provides a local showcase for a range of technologies and the learning from this exemplary project is being widely disseminated. Wessex Water, advanced digestion system Winner 2008: Best Renewable Energy Scheme In 2008 Wessex Water commissioned its first Acid Phase Digester (APD) at its Avonmouth sewage sludge processing plant. This is one of only a few such advanced plants operating in the UK. The plant, which treats around 33,000 tonnes of sewage sludge per annum, had previously processed sludge using mainly Mesophilic Anaerobic Digestion and by liming. The results of the new APD process and technology have been astounding; energy production has increased by around 65 per cent from 14.3 GWh/annum to 23.6 GWh/annum, while at the same time, the CO2 emission rate of the plant has been reduced by more than 75 per cent, and the amount of liming required has been reduced significantly. The residue treated sludge is high in valuable organic matter and nutrients and is recycled locally to agriculture. Ecos Homes, Stawell development Winner 2008: Best Housing Scheme Stawell is a housing development of five dwellings on a brownfield site in Somerset, built to level five of the code for sustainable homes, with onsite PV cells and biomass technology. Onsite energy production should equate to half the yearly electricity needs of each household. The properties also offer superior insulation as well as maximising thermal mass, solar gain and natural light to reduce energy demand. Site management was provided by Ecos Homes with local subcontractors being used and trained where necessary to allow the skills base to remain locally. Post-occupancy monitoring will enable ongoing evaluation of the design principles employed. Technical tours and open days have been held throughout the build to inform and generate discussion and membership of national organisations used to allow knowledge to permeate further afield. Ecos aims to show that building at code 5 can be commercially viable, raising the bar within the development sector. Kate Hall Winner 2008: South West Sustainable Energy Champion Kate Hall has devoted a huge amount of time and energy to increasing the uptake of renewable energy across Dorset, and was instrumental in the development of the Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Renewable Energy Strategy. Her tireless work has helped to raise the profile of renewable energy in Dorset, while her enthusiasm, leadership and motivation have brought together a range of stakeholders to coordinate activity on renewable energy. This has put the county in a very strong position to move forward, achieve more community renewables installations, and develop robust planning policies. Kate's passion and enthusiasm have helped achieve recognition for sustainable energy in Dorset, well beyond the requirements of her day-to-day role.