- About us
- Our work
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- Getting community energy involved in Local Enterprise Partnerships
- The energy system is in flux, let’s ready ourselves for a community takeover
- Celebrating a strong year for energised communities at CfR
- Community Energy at the forefront of disruptive change in the energy sector
- Meet your MP about community energy this Community Energy Fortnight
- We can do more to foster community energy in low-income communities.
- What next for community energy in a post-FIT world?
- A new generation of investors are using their money to drive change
- People, Power and Happiness
- A review of CEF17
- Community energy, a magic bullet for a multitude of charitable objectives
- Community Energy Fortnight Lobbying Pack 2017
- How smart technology is empowering rural energy projects
- Community energy is not just what we do, but how we do it - By Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK
- “It's all still to play for" says Co-op Energy's Head of Renewables
- York Community Energy trip round the panels of Auld Reekie with Edinburgh Community Solar
- The Ramblers: Protecting the places we love to walk in a changing climate
- Why Community Energy Fortnight is so important - By Emma Bridge
- CEF17 is Powering Together!
- 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
- Blogs 2015
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Why community energy matters – be inspired
Nick Clack from Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), members of the Community Energy Coalition, tells us why community energy matters and what inspires him about community energy ahead of the Community Energy Fortnight.
The third national Community Energy Fortnight runs from 5-20 September 2015. Events are being held across the UK, including open days and workshops, so why not use one of these as a springboard to make a project happen in your community?
To many people in the countryside, rural energy conjures up images of big infrastructure and the realities of the high bills that they face. Up until now large power stations, commercially owned renewables, pylons, leaky homes and expensive fuels have contributed to this negative picture. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Community energy offers a different way forward where communities are in control, leading and owning projects, and where small can be beautiful.
This alternative energy path was the focus of the community energy workshop CEC members CPRE ran in July. Important principles for projects were set out, such as the need for broad buy-in from the local community and defined direct benefits flowing back to this community; the need to focus on energy reduction as well as generation; and the need to be sensitive to the area where the project is taking place. Our workshop also identified the common ingredients of successful projects.
Many of those at the workshop (including representatives from parish councils, CPRE’s local groups and other community groups) were at the early stages of their thinking on community energy. Community Energy Fortnight gives lots of opportunities for those at a similar stage, as well as for those already involved in projects, to take ideas further. The fortnight promotes a platform for sharing of information and lessons learned to support making successful projects happen.
CPRE’s workshop also highlighted successes in the participants’ communities. For example, Kelsale-cum-Carlton’s community energy initiative has completed its first project. The community funded a small array of solar panels to provide electricity for the village hall and the village social club, which has been successfully used as a lever for further funding to pay for improved insulation and secondary double glazing in the village hall. This project is a great illustration of how to tackle energy inefficiency as well as providing low-impact low carbon generation for the benefit of the village.
Lots more good practice and good ideas are in evidence during Community Energy Fortnight 2015. We’d urge you to find out where your nearest events are and go along to find out how these could translate to your community.
And if you want to help us persuade the Government to do more to support community energy, there are events during the fortnight where you can find out more about this too.
Collective action can get results. A great example of this is the mobilisation of Community Energy Groups to secure an extension to the existing tax relief arrangements that were working well, but which the Government was planning to end. This helped reduce uncertainty around community energy projects in the pipeline. Now the Government is reviewing the subsidy system for the smallest renewables, the Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs). This is crucial to many community energy projects and we are pushing the Government to ensure the FiT system is fit-for-purpose and continues to properly support community energy projects. You can help by raising the issue with your MP and asking them to use their opportunities in Westminster to get this message across.
Whatever aspect of community energy you’re interested in, and whatever stage you’re at, there’s something in Community Energy Fortnight for you.
4th Sept 2015