New fund aims to trigger hundreds of community green energy schemes

March 12, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Scheme aims to kick start hundred of community green energy projects

Scheme aims to kick start hundred of community green energy projects

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A dozen community energy projects are set to receive up to £500,000 as part of a new funding scheme supported by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

The Government says it is eager to support the development of community energy projects to show how social action can help people reduce their energy bills.

The community energy sector is growing, with increasing numbers of new projects being developed. However, smaller energy groups often work in isolation, with no formal networks for skills sharing or mentoring with larger more established organisations.

In response to the problem, the Government has awarded a list of 12 groups between £10,000 and £50,000 so they can form consortia, giving larger groups the resources to mentor others.

The chosen projects range from a community forum that provides workshops and assistance to communities to generate power using hydro energy to a social enterprise that sets up study visits and seminars for local community groups so they can reduce their fossil fuel energy use by using sustainable wood sources.

Minster for Civil Society Nick Hurd said: “We want to support community energy groups to help each other. That’s why we are investing £500,000 so that larger projects can help smaller groups get off the ground and more people can learn how to make energy cost savings.

And Energy Secretary Ed Davey added: “This new fund will give aspiring communities access to the cash they need to help kick start hundreds of clean, green energy projects.

“Not only can community energy projects boost local economies and drive forward green growth, they can also help save money on energy bills too.”

The groups receiving funding are:

• Youth Community Energy Catalysts

• National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

• My Green Investment C.I.C.

• BioRegional Development Group

• London Sustainability Exchange

• Repowering Limited

• Wiltshire Community Land Trust Ltd

• Northfield Ecocentre (part of Central England Quakers)

• Sheffield Renewables Limited

• The Thornbury Centre

• Ouse Valley Energy Services Co Ltd

• Middleport Environment Centre (MEC)

The Cabinet Office’s Centre for Social Action supports the most effective non-profit projects that tackle persistent community issues. It will commit £36 million to addressing local problems which can benefit from community participation such as volunteering, mentoring or peer-to-peer support.

EDF Energy is supporting this initiative and is looking to provide the groups with mentoring support in business management on a pro bono basis.



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