Community energy is essential to achieving the UK’s net zero statutory target. We will not be able to decarbonise at the speed and scale necessary without bringing people and communities with us.
This call for evidence from the Environmental Audit Committee is a welcome opportunity to showcase the value of community energy to the clean energy transition and to advocate for policy and regulatory changes that will level the playing field. This means providing community energy organisations with more support than is currently available to unlock their untapped potential in achieving net zero, delivering a green recovery, and ensuring a just transition.
Our recommendations for the government include:
- Remove the ban on Social Investment Tax Relief for community energy projects.
- Give explicit support to community energy in the Net Zero Strategy.
- Create an Urban Community Energy Fund as a counterpart to the Rural Community Energy Fund, which should be extended and given a wider focus than generation projects.
- Work with Ofgem to remove regulatory barriers and level the playing field to enable community energy business models to thrive, for example through shallower connection costs and reserved capacity for community-owned generation.
- Remove extra planning restrictions for community-owned wind and solar.
- Provide funding for community energy efficiency projects that prioritise fuel poverty alleviation.
- Provide funding and support for local authorities to procure local and community energy, via partnerships with community energy organisations.
You can read Regen’s full response to the call for evidence here.