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From the Centre for

Sustainable Energy

Community

For further support

Energy
Update

Visit www.cse.org.uk/communities
or email communities@cse.org.uk.
And for the best tools and guides, go to
TheSource: www.cse.org.uk/thesource.
Sign up for this monthly newsletter at
www.cse.org.uk/communities-update

November 2015

Over 1,800 people follow us on Twitter.


Were at www.twitter.com/@cse_communities
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section 1 The latest CSE news ...


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Triodos Renewables launch new community


benefit fund

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Wind farm

Hydro scheme

Communities located close to a Triodos Renewables project will be


able to apply for a grant of up to 4,000 to make low carbon
improvements to their community buildings. The grant scheme will
be administered by CSE and opens on Monday 30 November.
Applicants will be asked to complete an energy audit of their building to
identify potential improvements and understand the processes needed to
move towards a more efficient building. CSE are also able to provide advice and
training to support groups who wish to provide energy advice across the wider
community.

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The map shows where Triodos Renewables projects are located.


Only those postcodes closest to these sites will be eligible for funding. A list
of postcodes can be found within the grant scheme guidance document. The
guidance and application form will be downloadable from
www.cse.org.uk/trcbf on 30 November.
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Sigurd
Clayfords
Auchtygills
Beochlich
Dunfermline

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Haverigg II
Caton Moor
Wern Ddu
Avonmouth
Boardinghouse

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Ransonmoor
March (Greenvale)
Eye
Ness Point
Kessingland

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Our neighbourhood planning support we want to hear from you!


Were almost half way through our neighbourhood planning support programme, and keen to review how effective
our free support has been and see how it might be improved. Whether youve flicked through our neighbourhood
planning guidebook, or had more detailed support from us over the phone or in person, please take five minutes to
give us your thoughts, www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/neighbourhood_planning_support.

continued overleaf

Community

section 1 The latest CSE news [cont] ...

Energy
Update

Volunteers wanted in Wiltshire


We are looking to recruit enthusiastic and dedicated
volunteers to help us deliver our energy advice project in
Wiltshire. The role will involve working with vulnerable
clients offering them advice and support on keeping
warm and healthy in their homes and lowering their
energy bills.

50,000 awarded to community


buildings by WPD

Volunteers can help CSE in a number of different ways


and youll be free to choose how you get involved
depending on what you find most interesting or
enjoyable. Volunteer tasks include:

Its the final week of this years Western Power


Distribution Community Chest, which has so far provided
grants of up to 1,000 to 50 community buildings across
the South West, South Wales and the Midlands.

Accompanying advisors on home visits to provide


advice on energy advice, heating controls,
damp/mould and problems with fuel bills

Grants have allowed village halls and other buildings to


install improvements such as LED lighting, draught
proofing, insulation, heating controls and new energy
efficient appliances. Only a small amount remains in the
pot so unless your application is in the post youve
probably missed out this time around.

Helping vulnerable people to safely take advantage of


any grants or funding that available to help them
lower their energy bills and keep warm in their home
e.g. grants for insulation measures.
Helping to organise and run local events
Giving talks to local groups e.g. lunch clubs
No experience is necessary and lots of on-the-job training
will be given while youre out and about with our
caseworkers. All reasonable travel and subsistence
expenses will be reimbursed.
Well be offering no obligation free induction and
training sessions for anyone interested in volunteering in
Wiltshire in early 2016. Interested? Email CSE at
volunteers@cse.org.uk and well get back to you with
more information.

One grant recipient said We have had LED panels


installed in our hall and the difference is amazing. Its as
if someone has come along and cut skylights in the
ceiling! The hall is now very bright and cheerful, he
added.
Our total power usage has been halved, or better, and I
wont have to balance precariously on the old step-ladder
changing tubes and starters in the old fluorescent light
fittings. The money well save from this investment
means we wont have to put up the cost of room rentals
this year, all the groups who use the premises will save,
too.
The popularity of the grant scheme demonstrates the
huge scope for upgrades to community spaces. CSE
provides guidance on carrying out your own energy audit
and case studies of buildings that have benefitted from
energy improvements. Go to: www.bit.ly/1mpXajR

Read all about CSEs recent work


Our bi-yearly newsletter Energise is available to
download at www.cse.org.uk/energise_autumn_2015.
The 8-page newsletter covers the highlights of the past
six months, including our latest research, the home
energy advice we provide and the work we do to support
community energy. Energise is free, and if youd like to
receive copies drop Tim a line at
tim.weisselberg@cse.org.uk.

continued overleaf

Community

section 2 The latest community news ...

A bumper month of community energy


share offers
Over the past month, several community energy projects
have sought investment for renewable energy
installations through share offers. The reason for the
flurry of activity was the announcement in October that
tax relief benefits for community energy schemes would
be cut in November. Many schemes therefore opted to
release a share offer immediately so that their investors
could benefit from the Enterprise Investment Scheme
(EIS). This provides better returns on investment, and
without it many community energy schemes will find it
difficult to raise the finance they need.
Projects seeking investment are featured on this map
www.bit.ly/1NbwHnI or go to www.energydash.org
to invest before the share offers close at the end of the
month.
Congratulations to the projects who have managed to
reach their funding target including Pomona Solar Cooperative, Heartland Community Wind, Harborough
Energy, South East London Community Energy, Maid
Energy, Applecross Community Hydro, Orchard
Community Solar, Wolverton Community Energy and
Burneside Community Energy.

Energy
Update

Policy changes lead to loss of


community energy projects
Unfortunately for many community energy groups, the
recent policy switches, such as the tax relief cuts (see
left) and the likely cuts to the feed-in tariff, mean that
many planned projects are no longer financially viable.
Were sad to lose the potential Abingdon Hydro
scheme and the Balcombe Solar Farm as well as
others.
The amount of volunteer time and effort that has gone
into these projects is astounding and we hope those
involved dont give up on working on community
energy projects completely.
If your proposed renewable energy project is no longer
viable, then why not try one of these simple local
energy project ideas:
www.cse.org.uk/news/view/2036.
For those still going ahead undaunted, dont forget
that Urban Community Energy Fund and Rural
Community Energy Fund awards are still available. Go
to www.gov.uk/guidance/urban-community-energy-fund
for UCEF or www.bit.ly/1gJdKq4 for RCEF.

Sign a Local Action Declaration before Paris 2015


Climate Action England (formerly Low Carbon Communities Network) invites all grass roots organisations working on
climate issues across England to sign a Local Action declaration for the UN Paris process. The statement is in two parts.
The first is the call on governments to show their commitment by agreeing a plan at Paris that will restrict global
warming to two degrees. The second is a commitment to act on climate change for as long as that action is needed.
This is followed by six ways in which local organisations can and are acting. Go to www.climateactionengland.net to
read and sign the declaration that needs to be emailed to info@climateactionengland.net. They hope to have as
many cities, towns, counties and communities represented as possible. The more places, the more impact.

Photo: wwf-uk

Climate marches are taking place across the UK this Sunday 29 November.

continued overleaf

Community

section 3 And some useful links ...

Energy
Update

Shaping a new energy strategy for


Bristol
As we approach the end of Bristols eventful year of
being the UKs first European Green Capital, Bristol City
Council has been busy reviewing its targets and plans
around climate change and energy. The initial outcome
of this process is presented in a draft document entitled
Our Resilient Future A Framework for Climate and
Energy Security, which has now been formally adopted
by the Mayor for consultation.
The document defines a strategy and action plan for
improving the resilience of the city in addressing the
threat of climate change through the sustainable use and
generation of energy. It sets out the citys existing
commitments, progress to date against these and what
more must be done to meet them.
Future actions which are to be led or enabled by Bristol
City Council are defined as well as a broader range of
initiatives which are already in progress across the city.
The Council is planning to announce the Framework at
the COP21 climate change summit in Paris in December,
where Bristol will be co-hosting the Cities and Regions
Pavilion, and will hold a six-week public consultation
starting in January next year.
Download the document from www.bit.ly/1Oe3b1w

Dataset of the month


Crown Estate Offshore Wind Generation Map
www.bit.ly/1Yi838w
This page, refreshed hourly, shows the estimated total
electricity being generated by offshore wind around the
UK, as well as the individual contribution from each
wind farm.

Resource of the month


Hiring CSEs event resources
www.cse.org.uk/CSE_communities_event_resources
Weve got a huge range of kit thats available for
community groups to borrow and use at public events.
This guide gives an idea of the kind of resources available
from large interactive display models to fun games for
children and engaging information sheets. Email
communities@cse.org.uk to arrange a rental.

Video of the month:


How to use a central heating programmer
Anna talks through how to set your mechanical (i.e. nondigital) central heating programmer in our latest home
energy advice video: https://youtu.be/RKVQQxHuEPU

Be prepared for the busy home energy


advice season
As winter approaches many householders across the UK
will be struggling to keep their homes warm and to pay
for their rising energy bills. CSE provides a huge range of
information and downloadable factsheets on our Home
Energy Advice website at www.cse.org.uk/advice.
Topics include advice about managing and understanding
energy bills, understanding heating controls and how to
keep energy costs down and information on various
home energy improvements.
We are happy for community groups to download and
hand out our factsheets to householders in your local
area. We can also provide copies of printed factsheets on
request. Our factsheets are also available in Polish, Arabic
and Somali!
Householders in the West of England (Bristol, South Glos,
Somerset and Wiltshire) can call our Home Energy Team
on 0800 082 2234 for free and impartial advice.
Sorry! Wed love to open our
freephone advice service to
everyone this winter, but funding
restrictions sadly dont allow it.

continued overleaf

Community

section 4 Other developments ...

Allocating areas for onshore


wind development: less difficult
than we thought or feared?
This summer the Government changed the planning
regime for onshore wind developments, introducing two
pre-conditions for applications seeking planning
permission:
1 The development site is in an area identified as
suitable for wind energy development in a Local or
Neighbourhood Plan.
2 Following consultation, it can be demonstrated that
the planning impacts identified by affected local
communities have been fully addressed and therefore
the proposal has their backing.
Planners and community energy groups have since been
grappling with what these two tests mean in practice,
and in September, CSE wrote to James Wharton MP to
seek clarification. At the end of October we received a
response from the Department for Communities and
Local Government.
With regards to the first pre-condition, the letter said:
The area could be as extensive, including one or more

Energy
Update

potential development sites, or as limited as considered


appropriate locally, having regard to national planning
policy and guidance.
Therefore allocating areas neednt mean allocating
individual sites for onshore wind development, and could
comprise larger areas.
And regarding the second pre-condition, the letter said:
Evidence to support identifying suitable areas in
Neighbourhood Plans should be fit for purpose, and
proportionate. Detailed considerations such as particular
specialist surveys may be requested as part of the
planning application stage. This is why our online
planning guidance notes that when identifying suitable
areas it is also important to set out the factors that will
taken into account when considering individual proposals
in these areas. These factors may be dependent on the
investigatory work underpinning the identified area.
DCLGs comments imply that less background evidence
might be required than we initially thought, with policies
setting out the further evidence and studies that might
be required in support of an actual planning application.
CSE is planning to put together a step-by-step guidance
note to help communities who want to allocate areas for
wind development, hopefully with the co-operation and
signoff of DCLG.

Aslak vers/Statkraft

Transport of turbine blade for the Alltwalis Wind Farm

3 St Peters Court
Bedminster Parade
Bristol
BS3 4AQ

0117 934 1400


www.cse.org.uk
info@cse.org.uk
Charity 298740
Founded 1979

The Centre for Sustainable


Energy (CSE) is a national
charity that helps people
change the way they think
and act on energy

www.twitter.com/@cse_communities

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