Organisations representing more than 16 million members from across the UK are backing the first ever Community Energy Fortnight, highlighting the benefits of community owned energy schemes.
The Community Energy Fortnight, running until 8 September, aims to promote a co-operative approach to energy and climate change challenges by empowering communities across the UK.
The Community Energy Coalition, which includes organisations such as the Co-operative Group, Co-operatives UK, Forum for the Future, the National Trust, the Women’s Institute and the Church of England, calls for an increase in the number of communities controlling and benefiting from their own energy projects.
The Coalition has also supported a petition calling on Government to provide greater support for co-operatives and community-owned energy projects. This petition has attracted almost 60,000 signatures and will be presented to Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey, on 3 September.
Television presenter Michaela Strachan, who signed the petition, thinks working as a community to come up with practical ideas to save energy is the way forward.
Referring to the Community Energy Fortnight, she said: “It will engage and inspire people about the wide-ranging benefits of community energy and hopefully lead to hundreds of new community groups getting involved. I know there are many people wanting to do their bit for the environment by generating and saving energy together for the benefit of people and planet.”
Giles Bristow, Head of Energy at Forum for the Future, said: “The enthusiasm in the build-up to the Fortnight has been fantastic, and shows that there’s a real appetite for this form of energy ownership. At a time when the news is dominated by negative stories around energy-generation, it’s refreshing to see that there is a positive way forward for the future energy security of the UK that the public is willing to support.”
UK’s first Community Energy Fortnight is raising awareness of sector