Community energy refers to the delivery of community-led renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, which are usually owned by communities. These projects are a great way to both speed up and scale up the rollout of energy projects. The benefits of community energy initiatives go far beyond their direct impact on climate change, energy security and fuel poverty. Energy projects can give communities who don’t normally interact common ground and a basis for trust and friendship – not to mention a tangible reminder of their successful cooperation. Taking control of your own energy supply can also be highly empowering, boosting a sense of what’s possible among individuals and the community as a whole – and bringing a host of economic benefits to boot.
Get in touch with the Devon Community Energy Network which can signpost you to existing community energy organisations in your area and help you consider your own local projects.
You can also get involved with the Power Allotments, Devon community energy project, who aim to help communities identify and submit potential sites for renewable energy projects across Devon based on their local knowledge. They will then look into these sites in more detail to find the very best options and help communities to develop them into their own community owned renewable energy and biodiversity projects!
Switch to a renewable energy supplier
Switch your organisation to a green renewable energy supplier or talk to the venue provider about switching to a green energy supplier.
Switching to green energy is one of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce your organisations carbon footprint. There are many on-line services that allow you to quickly and easily compare green energy tariffs to get the best deal in your area, and start saving money on your energy bills.
Follow Ofgem’s advice on switching your energy supplier. Most big energy suppliers now offer a renewable tariff, but not all renewable energy tariffs are the same.
Choose a supplier who can prove that all their renewable energy is either generated themselves or purchased directly from renewable generators.
Ask your supplier to show you where they get their renewable energy from.
If your community organisation operates from a building, you can work with your landlord or operator of the building to improve its energy efficiency. This reduces energy consumption and minimises carbon emissions.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has created a fantastic guide designed for small businesses looking to reduce energy consumption. It has ideas relevant to community groups too. It covers everything from heating, lighting and equipment.