Supporting Community Energy
Communities all over the UK are developing innovative projects to help meet the UK’s energy challenges. We are committed to supporting community energy projects and investment in renewable energy generation.
Problems such as climate change and insecure energy supplies are hugely challenging. If we’re to solve them, we will all need to play our part - from individuals reducing their personal energy consumption to governments participating in international negotiations.
Community energy projects exist between those two extremes, and it’s quickly becoming clear that they have a crucial role to play, including supporting a sustainable and secure energy system, reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions, and lowering consumer bills.
What is community energy?
The term 'community energy' covers a range of collective actions, from saving or reducing our use of it, to purchasing, managing and generating the stuff. It doesn’t include commercially or Government-supported initiatives, nor isolated, individual efforts. The emphasis is very much on projects involving local engagement, leadership and control, and where there is a benefit to local communities.
With high energy prices, strong government incentive schemes and an ever-greater sense of urgency about climate change, there’s never been a better time to investigate the various renewable-energy systems that can be installed at the household or community level.
What types of community energy projects does Bristol Energy work with?
- Community-owned renewable electricity installations
- A community trial of smart meters, to raise awareness of energy use
Why does Bristol Energy support community energy projects?
- It’s one of the best ways to make a difference - Community-scale energy projects enable proactive citizens to make the biggest possible difference, they are substantial enough to be noticed and duplicated elsewhere in Britain and wider world.
- Community energy projects are a great way to both speed up and scale up the rollout of small - and medium-scale renewable technologies - These technologies offer a number of advantages, such as keeping transmission losses to a minimum, because generation takes place near the point of consumption.
- Local generation encourages people to use energy more carefully - There seems to be something about local generation, and the more sophisticated metering that usually accompanies it, that makes people pause for thought before flicking a switch. This amplifies the carbon savings and makes the power generated go further.
- Many community projects are extremely cost efficient - Local people may contribute their time for free and local knowledge can ensure that the most suitable measures are encouraged and implemented in the right places.
- Supporting broader community benefits - Projects can give normally isolated groups common ground and a basis for trust and friendship – not to mention a tangible reminder of their successful cooperation. Taking control of one’s own energy supply can also be highly empowering, boosting a sense of what’s possible among individuals and the community as a whole, and bringing a host of economic benefits to boot.