Community energy puts the local community in control of their energy through setting up energy activities or projects.
A group in a community can collectively generate, manage and/or reduce energy. For example, a community group could purchase a form of renewable energy, such as photovoltaic panels or wind turbines. These forms of renewable energy can then be used to generate energy for all the members in the community group, benefiting the local area. It also incorporates the community helping people to install energy saving insulation in their homes or in a community hub like a village hall as well as communities collectively switching electricity/gas suppliers. Projects have an emphasis on local engagement, where the community collectively benefit from the outcome.
Stroud District Council strongly supports community energy projects through Local Plan Policy ES2 that states “The Council will encourage the provision of small-scale renewable energy developments utilising technology such as hydro installations, solar panels, biomass and wood fuel heating, small-scale wind turbines and photovoltaic cells."
Community renewable energy schemes will be particularly welcomed where they comply with this policy. The Environment Committee has in March 2016, given its support to community energy projects which can demonstrate a strong business case.
Organisations that can provide further information:
Organisations that can provide funding for community energy