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- Why Community Energy Fortnight is so important - By Emma Bridge
- Community Energy Fortnight 2017 dates announced and news of a new collaboration
- The community energy revolution is evolving, and the future’s bright
- Investing in community energy schemes
- Energising faith communities: the Spirit project
- Community Energy - the way forward
- CEF16 dates announced
- The community energy revolution pushes on in face of storm clouds
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Energising faith communities: the Spirit project
How can faith communities be supported to live more sustainably? What are the easiest ways to use less energy in the home? And why is this important in the first place?
These are some of the questions that Spirit, a European project led by Groundwork London, sets out to address. Spirit delivers effective community engagement programmes to promote energy efficient behaviour and energy saving activities in homes. Through a partnership of 8 organisations in 8 EU member states, Spirit is engaging faith based organisations to raise awareness of climate and energy issues and help their communities change the way they use energy in the home, leading to measurable energy savings and CO2 emissions reduction.
We do this by inviting members of faith communities to become Energy Champions, who receive free training in energy efficiency and how to give advice on energy use, and who are then supported by professional energy advisers to deliver advice to their communities, encouraging them to make (and keep!) energy saving pledges.
Since 2015 Groundwork London has been engaging with a diverse range of faith communities across the capital, with the 7 partner organisations in other European countries doing the same in their own towns and cities. As a result, thousands of households and members of faith organisations have been engaged and made pledges, thanks to the enthusiasm and support of faith centres and our teams of Energy Champions.
We’ve also produced a range of materials to support faith communities, and those that work with them, to run similar initiatives. This includes a Faith Community Engagement Manual (a guide to help engage communities in energy saving activities), Energy Champion training modules, an Energy Champion Manual (a resource for Energy Champions carrying out energy advice sessions), and energy saving advice sheets for households. All are available on the Spirit website, www.spirit-project.eu.
Spirit in action – working with the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre
The Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre (MCHC) in Westbourne Park has been engaged in environmental issues for some time, having previously been involved in Green Up!, the eco award and eco ambassadors scheme run by the charity MADE. Groundwork London has been working with the MCHC since December 2015. After an initial introduction from our contact at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, we held a stall following prayers in January, and then a training session for 15 Energy Champions later that month. Since then, we’ve worked with the Energy Champions to run an energy advice session at the mosque for their ladies’ group, hold a stall and run group energy advice sessions at an MCHC information day, and carry out individual advice sessions and home visits for members of the community.
‘Helping the community is important in our faith, as is protecting the environment and not wasting or over-consuming. We have gained a lot of information about energy saving that could benefit the whole community. We now know more ways to save energy and take more care to save the environment.’
Intlak Al-Saiegh, ladies representative and leader, MCHC
Continuing this good relationship, we’re delighted to be part of an event being held at MCHC on 18th September 2016, “100% Green Energy by 2050: how Mosques can help”, as part of this year’s Community Energy Fortnight. Working with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, IFEES, Repowering London, London Sustainability Exchange, 10:10 and others, this will be a great opportunity to consider what leaders and members of mosques can do to use energy more efficiently, and potentially even generate energy for themselves – as well as why this is important and the support that is available.
The event will run from 2-5pm – registration is open via Eventbrite.
To find out more about Spirit, and to explore how your faith community could get involved in similar initiatives with support from Groundwork London, please email email@example.com
Visit our website for project information, news and resources: www.spirit-project.eu
And follow us on Twitter: @EE_Spirit_EU