Members' newsletter 23rd September 2016

Community Energy Fortnight drew to a close this week and, having visited and hosted several events, I found it to be a really uplifting experience. There was, naturally and rightly so, a lot of discussion around the challenges faced over the last 18 months but I was really struck yet again by the resilience and passion of the sector. And there have been some huge achievements. There is now well over 150MW of installed (or about to be installed) community energy capacity and we are getting close to £100m of community investment.

The increase in public support for local, renewable energy is cheering and I would encourage you, as supporters and practitioners of community energy to take this opportunity to keep momentum going. Write to your local MP, share stories and share offers through your social networks and encourage involvement in community energy wherever you can. 

Although the fortnight is over, there are still many great local and national events to look forward to so, if you enjoyed (or missed) the last two weeks, why not get involved with the Climate Coalition's Week of Action? You can find details further down this newsletter. 


Emma Bridge

Chief Executive

Community Energy England

Community Energy Fortnight

This years' Community Energy Fortnight ran from 3rd to 18th September. It was full of events that highlighted the commitment to community energy and it certainly lived up to the theme, 'Powering Forward'. Sixty six events took place across the UK, demonstrating our sector's perseverance and innovation. 

On behalf of ourselves, the Community Energy Coalition and the fortnight sponsors Co-Operative Energy, we would like to thank everyone that hosted, attended, shared an event through their networks, or was involved in any other way. 

We would love any feedback on the Fortnight from anyone who organised an event, so please let us know think worked well, what didn’t go quite so well and if you would be interested in getting involved in #CEF17. We have set up a survey and would be grateful for feedback before Friday 30th September

We would also love to see any pictures you have, read any quotes about events or the fortnight as a whole, so please email or tweet using #CEF16.
Community Energy Awards Winners Case Studies

We have produced a series of case studies on the winners of the 2016 Community Energy Awards. 

Community Renewable Energy Project Award winner: Awel Aman Tawe - a community owned wind farm based in South Wales and formed in 1998.
Community Energy Saving Award winner: Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative - a not-for-profit social enterprise with a focus on developing renewable energy projects and tackling fuel poverty.

Local Authority Partner Award winner: Plymouth City Council - supporters of Plymouth Energy Community.

Collaboration Award winner: Cyd Ynni - a community project based in North Wales who link households with local community hydro projects.

Community Energy Funding Award winner: The Naturesave Trust and Naturesave Policies Ltd - an ethical insurer with over twenty years of experience.

Community Energy Champion: Alistair Macpherson - CEO of Plymouth Energy Community.
Community Energy Awards Winners Case Studies

Upcoming Events

New Models for Community Energy Series 
An event to help you embrace innovative models like local supply, adapt to policy changes, and connect to the grid.  This Regen Communities event supported by Western Power Distribution will help groups to evaluate new business models and funding options, as well as understand how connections are a key element of renewable energy developments and the huge impact and opportunities they can present.
29 September Nottingham, 10 November Birmingham, 15 November Cardiff.

Engaging Communities in Network Innovation, Manchester
Regen SW in partnership with Energy Networks Association, Electricity North West, Northern Powergrid, SP Energy Networks and Community Energy England are running an engaging event for communities interested in network innovation projects.
19 October 2016, Manchester
Read more

Engaging Communities in Network Innovation, Oxford
Regen SW in partnership with Energy Networks Association, Western Power Distribution, Scottish and Southern Energy, UK Power Networks and Community Energy England are running an engaging event for communities interested in network innovation projects.
26 October 2016, Oxford
Read more

Member News

Brampton and Beyond Energy (BABE) have signed an Option Agreement with Stobart Air Ltd to lease roughly 4 acres of land on the western side of Carlisle Airport in order to build a 500kW community owned anaerobic digestion plant over the next 2 years. 
BABE hope that the plant will generate sufficient clean, renewable electricity to power over 500 homes.

Carbon Co-Op have released this report, which outlines retrofit as a key tool in reducing carbon emissions, tackling fuel poverty and improving standards of health. 
Carbon Co-Op will also be holding a three day course for practitioners, self builders and DIY enthusiasts on retrofit. For more information and to book please see here

Pure Leapfrog have limited places still available for Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustainable Communities event, which is aimed at experts and practitioners on community projects. Please contact Pure Leapfrog for more information and to attend. 

Ofgem Review of Embedded Benefits

The deadline for responses to Ofgem’s open letter on charging arrangements for embedded generation is today.  Although this was billed as a “consultation” it was very broad and quite vague but we understand that it has implications for schemes on half hourly metering.  We appreciate that many members are already working to very tight margins and so any increase in charges could potentially have a big impact.

We will continue to monitor the situation and feed into Ofgem. RegenSW has published a paper “Network Charging for a Flexible Future” which calls for a broad ranging review of how we charge for the grid and setting out the principles that such a review should focus on.

Other News

Join the Climate Coalition from 8th-16th October in a Week of Action to celebrate the people, places and things we want to protect from climate change.
There will be nature walks, tea parties, community energy visits and all sorts of other events to start those key conversations about climate change. All this will either involve MPs or be showcased to them, so that politicians see, feel and hear how much their constituents care about what we could lose to climate change.
People all over the UK are organising events in their local areas, and you can be be involved. See if there's an event near you, and if not, please organise one? It doesn’t have to be complex.

Ashden is seeking entries for its 2017 UK Awards. This year the charity is particularly interested in energy storage and smart grid technology as well as examples of businesses, projects or programmes that have found innovative ways to reduce pollution in urban areas by making transport more sustainable.  Ashden is also looking for applicants working on the reduction of demand for energy in buildings.
Entry is free, with UK winners to be presented with Awards totalling £40,000 at a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 15 June 2017. Winners also receive a package of benefits and tailored support.

The Energy and Climate Change Committee is to be disbanded on 17th October. Responsibility for scrutinising energy and climate change policy will fall to what is currently the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee. It will be renamed the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee. Labour MP for Hartlepool and former shadow business minister Iain Wright will chair the revamped committee. Let’s hope that this will mean that energy policy is mainstreamed rather than coming second place to business policy.

HEET, who are a partner organisation of our members Muswell Hill Sustainability Group, are offering a basic home energy efficiency check.

Please let us know if other people in your organisation want to receive our newsletter, or if you wish to unsubscribe from future newsletters.

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