Energiliv Sydthy, Rural Energy in the Region of Sydthy, is a community-driven project that joins six villages in the region of Sydthy in an effort to save money on the energy bill. By raising awareness of green energy and energy saving the villages aim to create a united energy efficiency identity and strengthen the bonds between the participants. The project illustrates how a modern lifestyle is fully compatible with energy saving and renewable energy.
In the region of Sydthy saving energy also means encouraging drivers to slow down when passing through the villages. The call to drivers is announced on colorful signposts in all six villages.
Save Energy and make Money
For the participants in Energiliv Sydthy the first step towards reducing energy costs is a visit from an energy consultant. The consultant maps the energy consumption of each family and subsequently presents a plan of action stressing which energy saving initiatives are the most profitable and in which order to carry them out.The families have a variety of options to chose from, for example solar panels, geothermal heating, heat pumps, small-wind turbines, changing consumer patterns, insulation or new windows and doors.
The project was initiated by the residents association in the village of Gettrup with the support of Thisted Municipality and the Danish government’s Green Deal Programme to further public support of land based wind turbines, which was triggered by the establishment of six 2 MW Vestas turbines outside Gettrup. Other contributors were the local bank Boddum-Ydby Sparekasse and the local branch of the Danish Rural Development Programme (LAG Thy-Mors).
The village of Gettrup has a time honoured tradition for being a tightly knit community. The residents association of Helligsø and Gettrup was founded in 1925 and is to this day working for a community in progress through gatherings and other initiatives.
By working together the people of Gettrup have managed to initiate great changes in Gettrup. One example is the project “Take a Break in Gettrup – A Thriving Community” where the residents association and local entrepreneurs have created a beautiful garden at the community house – the former public school in Gettrup. The project also included the establishing of a community park near the sports ground with a picnic and barbeque area and fruit trees. We have created our own space for community life – and we know how to fill it.
The residents association has many recurring events on the agenda such as community dining, breakfast at the community house at Pentecost, a Halloween celebration and a Christmas parade through Gettrup to the community house for mince pies and mulled wine. We in Gettrup are proud of our town’s traditions and we believe them to create coherence and continuity in our often hectic everyday lives where children as well as adults benefit from having these recurring events throughout the year to look forward to.
Development and tradition go hand in hand in Gettrup. Time and time again we demonstrate how unity and joint efforts can create positive changes. By joining Energiliv Sydthy we have shown that by implementing green initiatives in our households even a small community like Gettrup can make a change to the better for the environment.
Unity is the foundation of great changes – this is something we have always known (and shown) in Gettrup.
The beautifully located village of Agger sits between the sea, the fjord and the forest right at the centre of Thy National Park. We are a small community with only 350 inhabitants but when the tourists arrive in summer the number increases significantly. In Agger more than 10 different associations represent a variety of interests from hunting and fishing to cooking, music and concerts. The associations host everything from community dining and midsummer celebrations to the fun run event Ladywalk which attracts more than 5000 women to Agger each year.
Agger Residents Association is constantly working on creating renewed energy in our town – in our own way. At a community meeting several committees were established allowing for residents and holiday home owners to join forces in creating new initiatives while safeguarding what we already have. One project is a plan for our town in the future: How it should look, what it should be like to live here and how we attract more tourists.
The community house in Agger is an important part of our lives. The former public school is now owned by the people of Agger who have renovated the building in order to host community events like dining, Cake Day, cooking club and meeting facilities. It is also possible to rent the house for private functions.
Another unique trait of Agger is the busy harbour with room for both fishermen and sailors. An extensive renovation of the harbour area is in the pipeline with new piers, sheet pile walls and an excavation of the canal. Eventually also the buildings at the harbour will be renovated and equipped with facilities for sailors. All has been achieved in a joint effort by the people of Agger and by donations from foundations, Thisted Municipality and Region Nordjylland.
Agger is buzzing with energy – all year round.
Nature is everywhere around in Krik. The closeness to the sea, the fjord and the forest is an important factor for those of us who live here as well as for the tourists. That is why the people of Krik are actively pursuing a sustainable lifestyle in order to reduce C02 emissions from our households. Participating in Energiliv Sydthy is a step in the right direction and in our experience a united community can achieve big changes.
A big change is what occurred in 2010 when the neighbouring villages of Krik and Agger joined the district heating supply from Vestervig District Heating Plant. Due to the perseverance and enthusiasm of the people in Krik and Agger, a cheaper and more C02 neutral alternative to the many outdated oil fired furnaces was secured. The district heating plant in Vestervig is primarily fired by wood chips from local forests securing a cost effective and sustainable heating supply. This is something we appreciate in Krik.
Life in Krik has always centered around the sea and the fjord right from the times when the small fishing hamlet functioned as a quay for corn, timber and coal up till today where outdoor life is the attraction. Therefore it came as no surprise when the foundation Realdania and Thisted Municipality chose Krik as the site for the building of a new community house in the project “The Good Life by the Sea”. The idea for the house originated in the residents association in Krik.
The new house has been named The Coal House and its name and architecture is a reference to the past ,when a large proportion of houses in Krik were warehouses storing coal and other goods. The Coal House is a local community house run by the residents association in Krik. But the house is also open to all our guests from the surfing community and other outdoor enthusiasts, who can shower and use the bathrooms free of charge. The house is also available for rent for private functions and contains facilities for nature dissemination on different levels. The house is powered by solar panels on the roof.
Here in Krik we don’t think of ourselves as living on the fringe since we are right in the middle of everything that is valuable to us – and we would like to share it with you.
In Vestervig we are certain that cooperation is the name of the game. The establishing of green spaces and walking tours and the demolishing of empty dilapidated houses has improved our town significantly. All has been achieved by local dedication and unquenchable commitment from the citizens of Vestervig. Also Thisted Municipality, the foundation Realdania, the Danish Rural Development Programme (LAG Thy-Mors), the Ministry of Housing, Urban and Rural Affairs and others have participated in developing Vestervig, but ultimately the changes happen because the people of Vestervig take responsibility of their town. Once again the town is a thriving community bursting with life and activity.
Each year more and more people participate in our annual events like the village fair and the Midsummer celebration in the community park, Klosterparken. Vestervig now has fiber optic network and cable TV and every week 1000-1500 users enjoy different kinds of sports in the new Vestervig-Agger Activity Centre.
The changes in Vestervig have not gone unnoticed: In 2013 Vestervig was elected “Village of the Year”, the head of Vestervig Urban Renewal Association was announced Local Enthusiast of the Year and Vestervig Residents Association won the bank NORDEA’s First Mover Award.
Demolition and development go hand in hand in Vestervig. Since the Urban Renewal Association acquired the first house in 2010 17 derelict houses have been removed in Vestervig. Beautiful green spaces appear where the old houses stood, the inn has established outdoor seating and one of the sites is now a public sculpture park. But we don’t just tear buildings down. Volunteers have restored one of the old houses which has now been sold on.
Volunteers are also behind the tremendous task of renovating the beautiful and historic courthouse in Vestervig. The building now houses an art gallery and in the spring of 2014 a museum of legal history will open here.
But we have plenty of more ideas in the pipeline, for example a covered outdoor stage in the community park and the building of a low emission house in cooperation with Thisted Municipality.
In Vestervig we intend to continue riding the wave of positive energy and if you take a walk around town you will see why. But be warned: It might be contagious!
The village of Ydby is characterized by many different associations and a strong sense of community. The local residents association has existed since 1910. We know, that development and growth is only achieved by hard work and united efforts. Enthusiasts and volunteers are imperative to the survival of our community. This became especially evident in the establishing of Boddum-Ydby independant school and daycare centre and the local activity centre. 6000 hours worth of volunteer work were put into the projects.
Personal commitment is also what drives the sports association, the football club, the scouts, the running association, the knitting association, the pensioner association, the croquet association and the parish council. Recurring events throughout the year strengthen the cohesion of our village: The community gatherings in the activity centre, work days in Ydby Forest and the Midsummer bonfire in the forest where Ydby Residents Association has established a picnic and barbeque area, toilets and two shelters.
A great historical awareness actively shapes our town and the cultural heritage is impressive. We have Ydby Heath with its many bronze age burial mounds, Skibsted Fjord, Dover Plantation, the Flarup runestone, the winter residence and mausoleum of the Danish circus family Miehe, the train station, the school, the church and the grocery store and they all constitute important traits of Ydby’s identity.
Yet we do not rest on our laurels. We are committed to developing our village and are currently building a race track for BMX bikes and a petanque and croquet court at the site of the demolished inn.
Future-proofing our village also means making energy saving renovations in our homes to which end participation in Energiliv Sydhy has been a great inspiration. Inspiration also comes from the neighbouring Nordic Folkecentre for Renewable Energy. For example the school and the activity centre now shares a wood pellet boiler which saves both money and C02.