Members' newsletter 15th April 2016


A big thank you to all of you who responded to SE2 Ltd’s survey in February looking at the sector’s views for the future of community energy, regional working, peer-mentoring and the type of support that would be useful from Community Energy England and the Community Energy Hub. The findings from the survey are available here and make for some interesting reading. Respondents were generally pessimistic about the outlook for the sector in the next twelve months (particularly those of you in the West Midlands!), but were more positive about the sector over a three year period. Key challenges, unsurprisingly, were thought to include business models and funding in a reduced FIT world, completing pre-accredited projects on time, managing policy uncertainty, planning/consents and maximising community benefits. Innovations of interest in the coming year were new sources of funding, new business models and energy storage. Local/regional networks were popular with around 2/3 of respondents belong to a local or regional network. We will be using all of these finding to develop our work programme over the next 12 months and will report back in future newsletters.
One key issue that keeps arising in my discussions with members, partners and government is the lack of accurate data related to the sector. To tackle this we will be conducting research over the next couple of months to feed into a State of the Sector report which we will publish later this year. This month we have also taken over responsibility for the Community Energy Hub and will be working with members and the wider sector to further develop the resources on there to ensure it is of most value to helping groups during this transition period.
If you have any ideas related to the kind of support you would find useful or particular information you would like to see in the State of the Sector report or on the Community Energy Hub, please get in touch.

Emma Bridge

Chief Executive

Community Energy England

Understanding the positive investor

Ethex, the positive savings and investment platform, is asking for the help of community energy groups in carrying out the biggest research project on individual positive investors ever undertaken.
Ethex is working together with other providers of positive savings and investments to answer three key questions:
  1. To which segments of society does positive investment most appeal?
  2. What attracts these people to positive investment, what motivates them, and what puts them off?
  3. How big is the potential market, where are the best opportunities for growth, and how are they best accessed?
The first stage will be to conduct an online survey that will give a comprehensive picture of positive investors and their prominence in the national population.

Can you help by distributing the survey to your investors once it is ready, in late May or early June?  Ethex can also provide you with the detailed survey results for your own use, and will invite you to meetings to discuss the results as the research develops.

For more information, contact or visit


Welcome to our newest members:
  • Kirkbymoorside and District Energy Society Ltd – a community organisation bringing together people who would like to invest in solar power with others who would like solar PV panels on their home, business premises or community building
  • Dr Vicki Shaw & Associates Ltd - specialise in personally tailored renewable energy feasibility studies, environmental and energy management system audits, and public communication campaigns.

Member news

SELCE is recruiting
South East London Community Energy (SELCE) is recruiting a new part-time Chief Executive to lead the organisation in the next stage of its development. More details here.
Is this the greenest market in England?
Grimsby’s Freeman Street Market has been completed, updated and renovated, making it a contender for one of the greenest markets in England. More details here.

Plymouth Energy Committee and Ernsettle Community Solar.

On 22nd March Plymouth Energy Committee saw the switch on of their 4.1MW solar farm by the river Tamar in Ernsette. The task was completed through a joint operation between Four Greens Community Trust and PEC Renewables.


CEE events

Bridging the Information Gap
CEE and Pure Leapfrog ran an event on 5th April in London to bring together academics from around the United Kingdom to foster a much-needed conversation about higher education and research conducted around community energy. The presentations from the event can be found on our website. A follow up event will be arranged later in the year.

Other Events

Clean Energy Summit, 26-28 April, Twickenham
CEE members receive a 50% discount for tickets to the 26th and 27th April. Please email Rosie Riley at
DECC Heat Network Demonstration – Zero Carbon Homes, 27 April, Bristol
Community Energy: Widening Participation in the New Era of Local Energy, 27 April, London
Rapid Energy Transition, 29 April, Centre for Alternative Technology, Powys
More details on these and other third party events that may be of interest are available here

Other News

Community Business Leaders Programme
The RSA, in partnership with Power to Change, RIO and Sheffield University Management School, is exploring the unique leadership challenges faced by community businesses. Over the next two years the RSA will provide a support programme for community business leaders that combines leadership training and expertise with fast-track connections to experts and industries that may otherwise be inaccessible to them. Full details and how to apply are available here.
DECC open district heating finance round
DECC has announced the sixth funding round for local authority district heat network development.
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