Local author answers questions about energy bills and climate change in new book

By Jessica Durston - 11 November 2022

  • Roderick Mountain photographed with a copy of his recent release

    Roderick Mountain photographed with a copy of his recent release

Swindon resident Rod Mountain has recently self-published his first non-fiction guide, 'Beat Energy Bills and Climate Change.'

The book is aimed at businesses and homeowners, and anyone else who wishes to learn more about energy and climate change. 

Rod and his wife moved to Shaw Village back in the February of 2021. His family previously lived in Esher, Surrey for 23 years.

He has a BSc in Environmental Sciences from Sussex University, and his second year dissertation centred around the world's weather system and global warming. 

Rod said it took six months of early morning writing sessions to complete 'Beat Energy Bills and Climate Change.' He would write each morning between the hours of 4.30am - 8.30am before starting his day job. 

When he is not writing, Rod works at Eco-Economix - an energy consultancy business. He is the founder and a partner with the firm. 

Rod said: "We work to save people - usually businesses - money on their energy bills. Our motto at Eco-Economix is ‘sustainability made profitable.’”

More information about Eco-Economix can be found on its website at https://www.eco-economix.com/

The Sussex graduate has drawn upon his years of experience in the energy and environmental fields to compose a handy guide which has a wealth of information on a wide range of topics around the climate and energy itself. 

Rod gives a brief overview of the book: "It has practical information inside it. It’s not theory, it’s actually the practice of how would I as a homeowner, or a business owner, reduce my energy bills? We have tips and information on how members of the public can go about this.

"It’s separated into headings and sections. People can pick up this book and go straight to the topics they wish to read first. It does not follow a linear structure, and the reader can dip in and out of it. Each paragraph is stand alone, and it’s arranged alphabetically. The book is also about giving people options regarding their energy that they didn’t even know existed.”

Rod adds that this non-fiction text has been written with the intentions of answering any questions anyone might have about energy, the industry itself, and how it is stored. It discusses nuclear energy, how to drive cars more economically, climate change, dairy and the greenhouse gas debate, renewable energy, heat pumps, sea levels, water vapour levels and more.

But the author says he is not just stopping at just this one edition - Rod has plans to continue his writing and collating of useful information, to make a second edition in the near future. 

He said: “This book, or this project, will grow. I wanted to get this book and all the collated information inside, out there before it was too late. What was really getting me angry was seeing that BP and Shell make nine billion dollars in one half-year, and 'Mrs Jones' up the road has to decide whether she can eat a third meal today, or put 50p in the metre. This is England in 2022 and it should not be happening.

“I wanted to do something quickly that would help people to help themselves. I wanted to put this guide together and get it out there as we continue to navigate this current energy crisis. I am also working to release another updated book in the near future with more graphics and topics. I will be looking at feedback and reviews I get from this guide, and will make notes and apply this for the next publication.

"I think people can feel powerless and it helps to know that everything you do to save on your energy bills, can help to take action against climate change. However, it’s good to be aware of the urgency of the crisis and be aware of the tipping point, or the exponential curve we are on.”

Beat Energy Bills and Climate Change even includes the Energy Performance Certificate for Rod’s own house, that he has managed to get to a status of carbon negativity.

He explains: "We live in a house that was built in 1989. My wife and I wanted to create a home that was not just A rated but well into A rated, and also carbon negative. This property produces -0.4 tonnes of CO2. We’re creating more green energy than we need, and we export it into the grid where other people can use the green energy.

"I wanted to prove it was possible. The EPC rating started at a D rating when we first moved in. It has got to the stage now where I have a direct debit with Octopus Energy, and they now owe me money! We make energy during the day, that we use throughout the night, and we’re exporting more energy than we are importing.”

Now settled in Shaw, Rod and his wife said they could not believe the warm welcome they have had from their neighbours, and the Swindon community.

Rod enthused: "Back in Surrey, no one really knew anyone as people would be commuting to London and getting on with their lives, keeping to themselves. We never saw our neighbours. We moved to Swindon as my parents were from the Shaftesbury area, and we’ve always loved this part of England.

“Within 48 hours of moving in, all of the residents of our close had come round to say hello and introduce themselves. It was lovely and everyone was so friendly. I was bowled over and it was quite an emotional experience for my wife and I.”

Beat Energy Bills and Climate Change has been published through Worldwize - a publishing company Rod set up himself. 

He added: "I’ve got a lovely team around me to help with copy-editing, proof-reading, cover design, and interior design. I have used them on two separate projects now."

People can find the text on Amazon, Wordery, Browns Books, Barnes & Noble, and Bookshop.org. Rod also says those interested can enquire about the book at their local big bookshop, giving staff the title and ISBN number.

The book is priced at £14.99 and Rod says: "the savings people will make from the guide will ensure they earn this money back - hopefully up to ten times the original price."

As well as his non-fiction exploits, Rod has also written and published a romantic-thriller novel – Priceless Union. The book is based on a true story. 

It is aimed at romance readers aged between 24 and 40, who are looking for something outside of the normal constraints of the romance genre, with twists and turns.

In addition to his follow-up to Beat Energy Bills and Climate Change, Rod said he plans to release the second book in his romance series next Spring.

More information about Worldwize publishing and its mission can be found online at www.worldwize.co.uk

More information about Rod Mountain and his books can be found on his website at http://roderickmountain.com/

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