Jamie is a Research & Communications Assistant at CDF. In this blog he takes a look at the upcoming Community Energy Fortnight 2015 and explains what you can do to get involved with all the events and activities taking place across the country.
The Community Energy movement is quite literally about empowering local communities. It’s a movement which offers people the chance to change how energy is used in their area and gives them a say in where they get their energy from in future.
Projects that fall under the banner of ‘Community Energy’ can take on a wide variety of forms. Some focus on physically changing the source of an area’s energy whereas others are about encouraging people to change their behaviours and attitudes when it comes to using energy. Some examples include:
- Running projects to reduce an area’s carbon footprint
- Installing community-owned sources of renewable energy
- People collectively switching to a renewable heat source
- Raising awareness of energy use within the community
Community Energy has been on the rise for a number of years now and this is highlighted by the fact that Community Energy Fortnight has gradually been getting bigger and bigger since it was first conceived in 2013.
What is Community Energy Fortnight?
Community Energy Fortnight 2015 is all about celebrating communities’ empowerment by showcasing the numerous ways in which communities across the UK are generating, owning and saving energy.
The Community Energy Coalition has run the fortnight twice before, in 2013 and 2014, but this year looks set to be bigger than ever before.
Between 5 – 20 September a whole range of events are taking place across the country to highlight the work of Community Energy projects and discuss the potential of the Community Energy sector. Lots of current projects are opening their doors to the general public to show what they’ve done and how they achieved it, whilst other areas are holding meetings and conferences to talk about the future of energy within their communities.
How can you get involved?
If you want to see what events are happening in your area just check out this interactive map of event locations 2015. For example, if you live near Wrexham, you’re lucky enough to have the chance to see how one farm is generating electricity from cow muck! Most of the events are free and are a great opportunity to meet other people interested in Community Energy.
If you fancy hosting your own event, simply get in touch with the organisers. They’ll offer you all the advice and support you need to run a successful event.
As always there’s also going to be plenty happening online. On 8 September we are hosting a live chat on Just Act from 1-2pm. Gemma Petty, CDF’s Network Officer, will be joined by from the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and Energy Saving Trust (EST) to provide guidance and advice on all things Community Energy-related.
To find out more about Community Energy Fortnight 2015 visit www.ukcec.org/community-energy-fortnight.
And for more resources on community energy take a look at the Energy and Environment section of the Just Act Knowledge Bank.