Free Community Energy England membership – 31st May opportunity
Having been contacted by Northern Powergrid about the level of interest in locally owned renewables in the area, Community Energy England is offering a free annual membership to groups and organisations in Northern Powergrid’s region (North East, Yorkshire, and northern Lincolnshire), if they express interest this month. This is a valuable offer to help build the capacity of local groups through access to our national networks, resources, training sessions, events and online tools. Community Energy England is a national body that supports individuals, organisations and groups to harness the power of democratically owned energy in their locality. They also run national events like Community Energy Fortnight, coming this June. If you are interested in joining their 280+ membership for free this year, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org before May 31st.
Funding for community energy
Community Energy England have created and are maintaining an up-to-date list of all funding opportunities available for community energy organisations, including a spreadsheet to help you assess and access new central government (and some other) funds that will be channelled mostly via local authorities. Available from: communityenergyengland.org/pages/funding-opportunities-2
Community Energy Training Session: Retrofit with Carbon Co-op – Tuesday 21st June, 10:00-12:30
Northern Powergrid is holding an online training session with Carbon Co-op’s retrofit experts to equip you with practical advice on retrofit projects – from how to begin engaging your community in retrofit, to starting a scheme like People Powered Retrofit in your community. The session will help community energy practitioners understand how able-to-pay retrofit relates to energy advice and fuel poverty alleviation work, and how you can build upon this work with more long-term solutions. Book your free place here. Over the summer, Northern Powergrid will be running another training session, as well as hosting another community energy forum in the autumn. Watch out for details on future events on their community energy webpage.
New Net Zero Community Energy Fund
Northern Powergrid have announced a new community energy fund, aimed at groups getting started on their emissions’ reduction journey. In-kind support or grants are available to support capacity building (e.g. workshops, training or mentoring, consultant’s time, feasibility studies or proof of concept trials, etc.) in value of up to £10,000. Applications will be assessed bi-monthly until the deadline of 31 July.
Application guidance and link to the online application form is available from: https://www.northernpowergrid.com/community-energy/
Put your community on the map! campaign
Northern Powergrid are launching a campaign to promote visibility of community energy organisations across our region and to help peer networking.
Our region historically has seen less community energy activity than other areas of England, but that is changing rapidly. We want to know about community energy organisations in our area to make sure we’re giving you the right support and to help you to find other like-minded, local organisations. Let everyone know you’re out there!
Place your community on this online collaborative map. Simply add a marker on the map, type in the name of your organization and add some description (what do you do? Who are you interested to network with and what knowledge could you share?), click save, then invite other community energy organisations to add themselves to the map.
Northern Powergrid’s Community Energy Engagement Strategy progress update
In 2020, Northern Powergrid published a Community Energy Engagement Strategy, setting out 26 commitments to support community energy groups in the North East, Yorkshire, and northern Lincolnshire. They have published an update to track progress against these actions. Between early 2020 and now, they have observed a boom in local energy and climate action groups seeking to achieve net zero emissions on a local scale:
- more than 6,000 interactions with community energy stakeholders, including through 25 sector events;
- number of organisations Northern Powergrid is aware of has increased from around 20 to over 80;
- ten-fold increase to community energy newsletter subscribers;
- 22 community initiatives supported, bringing the total to 81 projects supported since 2014;
- 20 of the 26 commitments have been completed; and
- multiple additional actions being delivered based on feedback from community energy groups.
Access the 2022 progress update including a highlights’ infographic and detailed updates on their community energy webpage. Read the press release here and subscribe to their community energy newsletter by emailing communityenergy@Northernpowergrid.com.