We launched the Devon Community Energy Impact Report today and it has loads of useful data demonstrating the added value of locally owned, grassroots energy activity.
The generation of 17,431 MWh of clean, green and community-owned energy, which can power 3,423 homes a year, and has saved 6,080 tonnes of CO2 emissions, are great achievements. But the thing that has stuck with me about this report is the story behind it, the ordinary people involved in community energy who mostly volunteer their time to install renewables and to tackle fuel poverty. They are taking direct action to run successful community businesses, motivated by climate change and social injustice, rather than profit for profit’s sake. The 23 community energy organisations in this report have supported 2,717 homes to save money on energy bills and use energy more efficiently, some of them track the impacts of their work on people’s quality of life and have found that community energy makes people happier.
Community-owned renewables make up just 1.3 per cent of total installed renewable electricity in Devon, but the community energy organisations who run the projects are delivering so much more than 12.3 MW (of installed capacity) and 33 FTE jobs. They think holistically about energy’s impact on society, the environment, and the economy. Community energy organisations in Devon have already raised £14.1 million of investment, including £5.5 million through community shares which generate a return for local people who have invested. Community benefit funds from just four community-owned renewables projects in this report will provide over £1 million by 2030, to tackle fuel poverty, and help Devon communities do more to look after each other and the environment.
The Devon Community Energy Impact Report 2018 was a collaboration between Regen, Devon County Council and the 23 community energy organisations who took part. These organisations give local people greater control over how energy is generated and used, and they maximise the engagement and local economic benefit from renewable energy projects. If you want to do something that helps people, the planet and our local economies, join them!
You can find out more and see the full report by following the link below. If you’d like to get involved, get in touch with your local community energy group or contact Regen to find a group near you.