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Community Energy Live Chat

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This topic contains 28 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Heather Heather 1 year, 7 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
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  • #11430
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Hello everyone, and welcome to the live chat about community energy!

    We’ve got Heather and Bridget here today to talk to us and to answer your questions.

    Ladies, if you could introduce yourselves and tell us a bit about what you do then that would be great.

    And if anyone has any questions to kick things off, just post them in this thread and we’ll answer them here!

    #11431
    Profile photo of Heather
    Heather
    Participant

    Hi I’m Heather and I work for the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE). We’re a charity and (among lots of other things, see http://www.cse.org.uk) we provide guidance to support community energy in the UK.

    #11432
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    Hi Heather, thanks very much for chatting to us today.

    Can you tell us a bit about what community energy is?

    #11433
    Profile photo of Bridget
    Bridget
    Participant

    Hello Bridget Here, Community Energy Project Manager at the Centre for Sustainable Energy!

    I work on various community energy activities, including the national Green Open Homes network, cse’S Planning for Low Carbon Living toolkits, OUR programme of support for community energy groups nationally, and pieces of work for local authorities.

    For anyone who doesn’t know about the work of our Local and Community Empowerment team,
    We support local groups and organisations who want a more sustainable energy future for their area. We aim to respond to local needs and agendas whilst helping to deliver more effective sustainable energy solutions.

    #11434
    Profile photo of Heather
    Heather
    Participant

    Community energy is all about people taking action in their local area to reduce their carbon footprint. It can be include anything from simply providing energy efficiency advice to local householders to something more ambitious like developing your own community owned renewable energy project. And lots of other things in between!

    #11435
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    That sounds brilliant Bridget. And Heather, thanks for the explanation!

    So, can anyone who is interested in finding out more just contact you directly? Is there any support or grants available to help people get going?

    #11436
    Profile photo of Bridget
    Bridget
    Participant

    For ideas about community energy projects (and information to help run them) have a look at The Source, our selection of ‘the best’ tried and tested resources for the sector:

    https://www.cse.org.uk/thesource

    #11437
    Profile photo of Bridget
    Bridget
    Participant

    Thanks Gemma. There’s a bit more information about what we do here:
    https://www.cse.org.uk/communities
    Anyone can contact us directly by email (communities@cse.org.uk) or on our Twitter account, CSE_Communities
    Grants and support change all the time so we send out regular updates and Tweets when there’s anything new.

    #11438
    Profile photo of Heather
    Heather
    Participant

    We have a database of funds which our communities support service can search through for you if you let them know what type of project you need funding for (communities@cse.org.uk), we’ll be making this an online database soon!

    Currently we are running a couple of grant schemes. Firstly a simple Community Chest, funded by Western Power Distribution, which can give up to £1000 for communities to improve a community building, such as a village hall by installing energy efficiency measures. You need to be located in WPD’s area to qualify (most of the SW, S Wales and a lot of the Midlands. Go to http://www.cse.org.uk/wpdcc.

    #11439
    Profile photo of Tina
    Tina
    Participant

    I was thinking of getting some people together to think about a potential community energy scheme in Bournemouth, but was told that the feed-in tarrifs are soon to be substantially cut and this is affecting the viability of many community energy schemes. Is anyone able to provide any more information about that? We wouldnt want to put alot of work in if its not going to be viable.

    #11440
    Profile photo of Heather
    Heather
    Participant

    And secondly we administer DECC’s Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF), which provides grants of up to £20,000 to aid the develop process of large scale community renewable energy projects, https://www.gov.uk/guidance/urban-community-energy-fund.

    UCEF is just for projects in urban areas, but there’s a sister fund called RCEF which is administered by WRAP covering the rural parts of England: http://www.wrap.org.uk/content/rural-community-energy-fund

    If you’ve got any questions about what UCEF and RCEF can fund then please ask.

    #11441
    Profile photo of Bridget
    Bridget
    Participant

    Hi Tina
    Thye Feed In Tariff is still under review, nothing has been finalised just yet. It is looking like there will be significant cuts but hopefully it will still exist in some form. Solar may take the biggest hit, so it depends what technology you’re looking at. Having said that, solar is probably also the technoloogy where installation prices have dropped the most so projects should still be viable anywauy (one of the aims of the proposed cuts is to give other technologies a change to catch up with solar).
    We have developed various resources as part of our PlanLoCaL toolkit which will help you to assess the viability of all the differenr renewable energy technologies and also on how to consult within your community to involve as many people as possible from the start in planning and developing a scheme. Is that an approach you’d be interested in?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Profile photo of Bridget Bridget.
    #11442
    Profile photo of Bridget
    Bridget
    Participant

    You’ll find the PlanLoCaL website here: http://www.planlocal.org.uk or just drop us a line if you’d like a pack taking you through the process step by step.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by Profile photo of Bridget Bridget.
    #11445
    Profile photo of Heather
    Heather
    Participant

    And if you want to carry out a study of the feasibility of a project in your area and run some consultation events then UCEF can help to fund that!

    #11446
    Profile photo of Gemma
    Gemma
    Member

    That all sounds great – lots of really useful information here.

    Would you be able to tell us a bit about the Green Open Homes network?

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