Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Free insulation becomes a work of art

Peter DiCampo captures the Wrap Up Leeds installers at work in Beeston

Images of free cavity wall insulation in Leeds are set to become part of a project by a world-renowned photographer.

Award winning documentary photographer Peter DiCampo joined the Wrap Up Leeds team to get a few shots as they installed free cavity wall insulation in a property in Beeston earlier this year.

The images will be included in the next part of his Life Without Lights project in which Peter explores the thorny issues of fuel poverty and energy security in the UK.

The Life Without Lights project has its roots in rural Ghana, where Peter lived for two years without electricity himself. Having seen the impact the lack of energy had on his neighbours first hand, Peter began to take images to contribute to the ongoing debate on where on our energy will come from in the future and how to help those who suffer from ‘energy poverty’.

Peter’s thought provoking images were most recently exhibited in London in February this year. Whilst in London, he heard about Wrap Up Leeds and contacted the team to photograph an installation.

Wrap Up Leeds offers Leeds homeowners and private renters savings of up to £300 a year by installing free loft and/or cavity wall insulation. Estimates show the project will help around 1,000 people out of fuel poverty in Leeds.

Peter DiCampo said:

“I began photographing in the night, to create images that revealed the economic implications of life without light, while also showing the haunting, vibrant beauty of rural African nightlife. Since then, I have explored similar themes in Kurdistan and an off-grid community in the USA. Here in the UK, for the first time, I am exploring the rising cost of energy for the every-day person.

“I'm grateful to Wrap Up Leeds for assisting me in viewing the process of supplying cavity wall insulation to a home in Leeds. It's wonderful to see solutions like these in action, as a service to people who are in need of it. While the issue of fuel poverty in the UK is increasingly severe, it seems that help is available for many people if they can find it.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:

“We were delighted to be able to help Peter. His work allows people to consider the financial and social implications of energy and heat in a way they hadn’t before.

“Although Peter’s project started over 3,000 miles away, the issues are the same; people the most severely affected by rising fuel costs sometimes feel the least able to do anything about it. Wrap Up Leeds could bring many benefits to some of our most vulnerable residents, and I’d urge them to get in touch with the team as soon as possible.

“Wrap Up Leeds isn’t the whole solution, but its certainly playing a big part for 15,000 Leeds homes.”

To view Peter’s Life Without Lights exhibition visit www.lifewithoutlights.com.

People can sign up for free insulation by calling Wrap Up Leeds on 0800 052 0071 or by going online at www.wrapupleeds.co.uk.

The 0800 number is free from most landline providers, but may not be free from mobile networks. If you would prefer, please call Wrap Up Leeds on 01484 351 779.

Notes to the editor

About Peter DiCampo

• Originally from Massachusetts, Peter DiCampo launched his freelance career while working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Ghana.
• He was named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch in 2012.
• Life Without Lights has exhibited in London, New York and Vienna.
• Life Without Lights earned Peter the top prize in the British Journal of Photography’s 2010 International Photography Awards and additional awards in the 2011 PDN Photo Annual and 2011 Anthropographia Awards for Human Rights.
• Peter’s photography and multimedia work have been published by National Geographic, TIME, Newsweek, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Le Monde, GEO, Wired, Good Magazine, Businessweek, CNN.com, MSNBC.com and The Boston Globe, among many others.

About Wrap Up Leeds

• Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners and privately rented tenants (where landlord’s permission has been granted) in the Leeds City Council area only.
• Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (where less than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (where more than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) are available under the scheme.
• A free, technical survey of the property will confirm that the work will definitely be free and much larger properties or those that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contribution towards the work.
• Savings of £1,653,750 on energy bills is based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 5704
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk


Ellie Lyon, Yorkshire Energy Services marketing executive on (01484) 352010
Email Ellie.Lyon@yorkshireenergyservices.co.uk


Solar signs make light work of city centre

CGS: Day and night. Cllr Richard Lewis and the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Rev Alan Taylor with the Walk It streetmap on Briggate
and (below) one of the maps lit up by night

A network of solar powered streetmap signs is being installed to help people find their way around the city centre by day and night

The first of the “Walk It “ signs was unveiled on Briggate today (Wednesday 4th April) by Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and the economy, Cllr Richard Lewis and the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Rev Alan Taylor.

A total of 25 signs will be installed in April and May, with a further 10 expected to go in early next year to link with the Arena and other projects.

These are believed to be the first signs in the UK to use solar-power to backlight the maps.

The signs are designed to make it easy for visitors to Leeds to navigate their way around the city centre on foot. They will include walking times, so people know how far it is to their destination . The signs also feature ‘Heads up’ mapping, which means that the map is orientated to the direction of the user, rather than having north at the top.

Printed walking maps of the city have also been produced as part of the “Walk It” initiative.

Cllr Richard Lewis said:

“It’s a very exciting time in Leeds city centre, we already have so much to offer visitors. With the Arena and Trinity Leeds coming next year, we want to make sure people can find their way around the city centre and these signs will ensure they don’t miss out on any of our many attractions.

“We’ve decided to locate this first phase of signs near the train and bus stations and within the city’s main shopping area and, because they are solar-powered, the signs will be lit up at night which encourage people to make the most of the vibrant night-life.”

Editor's Notes:

The signs will be updated when major developments happen in the city centre, such as Trinity Leeds and the Arena.

Walkit Leeds is managed by Leeds City Council’s City Centre Management team, developed by Applied and manufactured and installed by Trueform.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: anniegoodyear@leeds.gov.uk