As part of our mission to transform the energy system, we believe we can only decarbonise at the speed and scale necessary if we bring people with us. Decentralised energy creates opportunities for more engaged energy citizens, more local ownership of energy assets, and control of where the benefit goes. Community energy organisations have consistently acted as the social conscience of the energy system, they hold the wider sector to account which will help ensure a just transition where no one is left behind.
Community energy groups are communities taking collective action to address climate change through delivery of community-led renewable energy, energy demand reduction, and energy supply projects that have a significant proportion of local ownership and/or control, and that deliver social, environmental, and economic benefit locally, such as fuel poverty alleviation.
We’ve supported and developed a network of community energy organisations across the UK for over 10 years, working on policy, innovation and direct support.
- We organise online forums for community energy groups to help build their knowledge, capacity, and engagement with the wider energy sector. Check out our upcoming events here.
- We write community energy strategies for Distribution Network Operators and local authorities to ensure the support they offer communities is targeted and co-designed. Find the strategy we wrote for Western Power Distribution here, and the Northern Powergrid strategy here.
- We provide independent plain English guides to the energy system, to help communities learn about local supply, innovation, heat, hydrogen, storage, connecting to the network, and more.
- We champion the community and local energy sector at a policy level, see our environmental audit committee response here, and our summary of the significant code review here.
- We take part on innovation projects that help unlock the business model for community and local energy, such as Open DSR, Open LV and the Sunshine Tariff.
Our Community Energy Team
We have a dedicated team working alongside community energy groups.
In June 2021 we delivered the Community Energy England, Scotland and Wales State of the Sector reports, having surveyed 424 community energy organisations nationally. Our analysis showed the slow down in deployment of new renewable energy generation projects, in line with a sector wide decrease due to removal of government support and subsidies, but an increase in the number of new community energy organisations. This shows the determination and persistence of communities who want to take direct local action to tackle climate change. The reports highlight the ambition to widen the scope of community energy, to include low carbon transport and innovation projects for local supply, and to use community energy as a mechanism for a green economic recovery that delivers local social and environmental impact. We’ll be continuing to work with Community Energy England, Scotland and Wales to highlight the potential of community energy, given the right support, for local economic resilience and job creation.