What is Community Energy
Community energy refers to the generation and distribution of energy within a local community, typically using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, or hydro power. The goal of community energy projects is to provide local residents and businesses with a sustainable and reliable source of energy, while also promoting community engagement and ownership of the energy system. Community energy projects can take many forms, including:
Community-owned renewable energy generation
This can include the installation of solar panels on community buildings, wind turbines on local land, or small hydroelectric projects on local streams. The energy generated is then sold to local residents and businesses.
Community Energy Cooperatives
These are organizations owned and controlled by local residents and businesses, which develop and operate community energy projects.
Virtual Power Plants
This is a system where the excess energy generated by individual solar panels or other small-scale renewable energy systems is pooled and used to provide power to the community.
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs
Community-based programs that educate and assist local residents and businesses in reducing their energy consumption and costs.
Community energy projects can provide a number of benefits such as cost savings, increased energy independence, job creation and environmental benefits.
Working with Community Energy Groups
We have worked in partnership with various Community Energy Groups, including Chester Community Energy Group, Burneside Community Energy, Community Energy North, Energise Sussex and Brighton Energy Co-Operative. Their commitment and enthusiasm for ethical investment in renewables to benefit their communities is remarkable. We offer these groups our extensive industry expertise and clear guidance to facilitate the funding, installation and continued support of our community focused customers.
Commercial System Sizing
Small Scale (30 kWp+)
Powering a small business or community building to reduce ongoing energy costs
Medium Scale (100 kWp+)
Often designed to power a large office or workplace with consistent base load
Large Scale (250 kWp+)
Generate and supply energy to high demand properties
Brighton Energy Cooperative
Brighton Energy Cooperative gets lots of people together, everyone puts in a little bit of cash and collectively they are able to build large scale renewable energy systems.
Worked with them for many years covering the area of brighton installing these large solar panel systems
Money raised from selling the electricity flows back into the co-op; it’s then distributed in the form of their community fund, interest to members and paying back capital. The host sites benefit from the cheap electricity that the systems we install for them provide.
History of Brighton Energy Cooperative
BEC sprang to life in 2010. After six months of planning 8 people invested the start up capital that led to the first share launch in 2012. During this period 120 people joined BEC, and the first solar PV systems was built.
Since then they have been mentored by many different organisations and achieved
press coverage both locally and nationally. More than 600 people are now BEC members; they have raised over £3,000,000 and built many big solar PV systems.
Low Carbon Hub
Low Carbon Hub is a social enterprise that’s out to prove it can meet its energy needs in a way that’s good for people and the planet. We have worked with them on one of our largest systems from last year Norbar Torque Tools and they were delighted with our work as we are booked in to expand the system this year!
Each year, Oxfordshire spends £1.5 billion on energy. By encouraging energy efficiency, increasing local energy generation, supporting the shift to electric transport and championing community ownership, Low Carbon Hub is ensuring that more of this money stays local. In the process, we are creating a better energy template for not just Oxfordshire but the whole of the UK.
Grimsby Community Energy
Grimsby Community Energy is a cooperative, run by members who are dedicated to bringing community energy projects to the Grimsby area.
Community Energy is a growing sector in the UK, with hundreds of organisations like Grimsby Community Energy, tens of millions invested by ordinary people, and megawatts of renewable energy generated.
We have installed systems across Grimsby for Grimsby community energy over the years and have a really friendly working relationship. Some of our notable ones are YMCA Humber and Enterprise Village.
What They Do
- They develop renewable energy projects
- They raise awareness of the benefits of locally owned community energy.
- People and organisations invest to support their community and receive a fair financial return.
- We have 73 Members, 6 solar PV installations totalling 200kW, in our local area.
Brent Pure Energy
We started our connection with Brent Pure Energy last year as we helped them install the system at Capital City Academy.
This was their third project and undoubtedly the most ambitious and we were delighted to be a part of it. We look forward to doing more work with them in the future.
The PV system has helped the local community a lot and has given the students at the school a lot of knowledge and why solar is important for the future of our planet.
They had this to say:
“The array was installed by the hard-working and efficient technicians at Genfit, who oversaw and advised on all technical details. It will very soon be supplying cheap solar energy to Capital City Academy, saving the school at least £10,000 a year. It will also play a part in the struggle to limit carbon emissions and minimise climate change.”
Burneside Community Energy
The registered Objectives of the Society are quite simply stated:
- The objects of the Society shall be to carry on any business for the benefit of the community of Burneside by facilitating an increase in community ownership of renewable energy and low carbon projects and through the distribution of energy within the community”.
- “The Society shall be owned and controlled by its Members on a fair and equitable basis”
To achieve these Objectives, Burneside Community Energy Ltd has chosen an ethical, well tested financial model. We raise capital predominantly from people with an interest in the community of Burneside, aiming to attract lots of small investors rather than depending on one or two large, private or institutional investors. We use that capital to invest in local renewable energy systems or other low carbon projects. The income from these projects will then be used to:
- cover the running and maintenance costs of the projects
- repay the capital investment back to the shareholders
- pay an annual interest to shareholders
- pay into a Community Benefit Fund to support community and environmental projects within and around Burneside Parish
As far as practicable, Burneside Community Energy Ltd will employ local companies to supply, install and service our energy projects in order to retain as much local economic benefit as possible.
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