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Testimonials

Fiona - Electric Tricycle User, Age 51. 'I purchased an electric tricycle as I have Multiple Sclerosis and can no longer ride a bicycle due to poor balance and mobility issues. I have found that being out on my tricycle that my fitness has improved and it has had an impact on weight loss. With the pedal assist I am still able to pedal and use my legs which is important to keep my muscles active, reduce numbness and I am also able to cycle further including hills and this also helps with fatigue as I tire easily. I have enjoyed being able to access local rural areas which has had a positive impact on my mental health and wellbeing, especially during this difficult time due to Covid-19 and being isolated as a clinically vulnerable person. This has meant that I have been able to get out of the house and feel safe whilst exercising. There are a lot of support groups on social media where I have met other like minded cyclists who have offered invaluable support and advice and I have met up with another lady tricycle rider as a riding companion.'
Mrs Surfleet a registered customer of the car scheme thanked HWRA for an excellent service and also to personally thank the driver, Terry for his help and assitance in providing transport to her medical appointment.
Wheels to Work North Lincolnshire Scheme - John from Grimsby ‘I joined the scheme in 2021 after hearing about it from a family member. I was in need of transport to get to and from work as I had my motorbike stolen and was not able to replace it. As a short-term arrangement I was relying on a family member to take and pick me up from work. For me the key benefit of the wheels to work scheme was that it provided me with a scooter that enabled me to get to and from work, it also gave me back independence and freedom. I would definitely recommend the scheme and I have done so to friends who are need of transport to get to work. Don’t’ underestimate the scooters as they are extremely reliable . My experience of the scheme was great, and I was glad that I was successful in receiving a scooter via the scheme’.
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Support and Funding Opportunities for Community Energy Groups

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 s.jackson@communityenergyengland.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.

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ACRE welcomes new grant scheme for improving village halls

National charity says £3 million fund announced by government will safeguard the future of many valued rural community buildings Timed to coincide with Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee, the government has committed to supporting over 100 rural community buildings with capital improvements. This follows in the footsteps of investments made in village halls as part of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee (1897) and King George V‘s Silver Jubilee (1935). There are over 10,000 village halls to be found in most rural communities across England, providing residents with what is quite often the only place to meet and socialise locally. They host a wide range of activities from exercises classes, playgroups to weddings and many accommodate vital services such as post offices, doctors’ surgeries and shops.

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£400 grant will be paid to everyone with an electricity meter

The £400 grant (replacing what was a £200 loan) will be paid to everyone with an electricity meter by their electricity retail supplier through discounts to their bills and for pre-paid meter users as a credit to their pre-pay arrangement. This means no fundamental disadvantage to off gas grid users of heating oil, they will just have very small electricity bills to compensate for much higher oil purchases. There is, of course, an issue for the small number of people not on the electricity grid at all who will get nothing. There will however be the question of people off the gas grid having to find very large sums to re-fill their oil tanks when the £400 will drip into their accounts by way of reduced electricity Bills, so the problem becomes mainly a cashflow one. For those on means tested benefits there will be £650 paid in two instalments, there are as yet no details specified about when. This could help with the cashflow issue depending on when it is paid. There may be a case for ACRE and other rural organisations to call for this to be paid up front to those off gas grid in order to enable them to fill oil tanks over the summer and smooth out demand whilst enabling timing choice to get the best price.

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