2019 Community Energy Conference

23/06/2019 10.00-16.15

The 2019 Community Energy Conference will take place at Sheffield Hallam University on 22 June in partnership with Co-op Energy and Sheffield Hallam University. 

Book your free place here

The event is sponsored by Electricity North West and Northern Powergrid and supported by Sheffield Hallam University. A variety of other sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities remain at the largest and most comprehensive Community Energy Conference to date. 

The full agenda with times can be seen here, an overview is below. 

Plenary morning Sessions

Mark Billsborough, Co-op Energy
Emma Bridge, Community Energy England
Anne-Claire Leydier, Northern Powergrid
Helen Seagrave, Electricity North West
Jean Tinsley, Sheffield Renewables

80-minute Workshops

Effective Governance Masterclass
Co-operatives UK will take delegates through the key elements of good governance for co-operatives and community benefit societies, including organisational purpose, ensuring an effective board, operations & processes, performance & roles, and members & participation.

Re-imagining Community Energy
Community Energy England and Tyndall Manchester will explore with delegates what role community energy may play in 2030 and how we can transition to an energy system where community-led projects are abundant. Insights will be shared from sector workshops from UK Energy Research Centre funded research into potential future business models and the key questions and challenges that remain. Findings from this session will be used to develop a Vision for Community Energy with CEE members which will be shared with politicians and other key stakeholders.

New data technologies for emerging Community Energy business models (sponsored by Carbon Coop)
Energy and data are increasingly intertwined, as a result, new online technologies are supporting new and emerging Community Energy business models. From smart meter integration to the aggregation and sale of local flexible loads and the delivery of new energy efficiency services. This session is a hands-on guide to new, open source technologies and how Community Energy groups and practitioners can use and benefit from them, individually and collectively.

45-minute afternoon Taster Sessions

A Guide to the Relaunched Rural Community Energy Fund James Johnson, North West Local Energy Hub, John Taylor, Greater South East Local Energy Hub and Leanne Wilson, North West Local Energy Hub
Hear from representatives of three of the five Local Energy Partnerships on how to apply for and access funding from the relaunched £10 million Rural Community Energy Fund.

Asset Acquisition, Management and Pairing – Richard Furniss, Bright Renewables and Rebecca Lawson, Forum for the Future Learn about PowerPaired.org, a new nationwide matchmaking service that brings interested owners of buildings and land together with community energy groups looking for viable development sites.
Also get to know about the challenges of asset management of community owned assets and how Bright Renewables approaches this.

Communicating Community Energy – Gill Owen Communications
This session will focus on the role of community energy groups in being the advocates for community energy in their local areas to help more people become aware of the positive impact community energy can have. It will also explore how story-telling can be translated for social media and the role of different platforms.

Community Energy - So What? – Claire Hanratty, Leapfrog. Saskya Huggins, Low Carbon Hub and Colin Nolden, Community Energy South
Want to work with new counter-parties, create new community energy models and expand community energy's profile? Ways to describe and quantify the value and impact of community energy are becoming essential. It's not just about who we are and what we do, it's about how we work and who we work with too. We're grappling with how we can be more intentional about our impact and how we can describe and measure it better. Come along and join the conversation.

EU Heroes - Overcoming Barriers to Connecting Projects to the Grid – Graham Ayling and Katie Reville, Energy Saving Trust
This workshop will introduce the EU Heroes Project, which seeks to help community energy groups across Europe to overcome barriers to connecting their projects to the grid. Attendees will be invited to share their experiences of securing network connections, examples of good practice towards community projects from DNOs/DSOs and to make recommendations on policies to help secure the future for community energy projects in the UK.

Flexibility and Aggregation – Ky Hoare, Regen
As part of their work supporting community energy, over the past 18 months, Regen has been leading research on how communities can participate in new and emerging local flexibility markets, working with network operators, regulators, suppliers, aggregators and a range of community energy groups. In this session, Ky will explore how communities can make the most of these new opportunities, what they need to do to participate, what value there is to be had in these markets and the developments in the energy system which might help community groups get involved.

Getting started: first steps for new community energy activists in the post-subsidy world - Jon Halle, Share Energy and John Malone, Energy4All 
Do want to see local action on climate change? Does the thought of creating your own community energy project appeal? Get the low down from Jon and John who have initiated a multitude of projects across the country. Expect pragmatic and useful information on how you can get involved with community energy, along with a discussion of what is and isn't likely to work in the brave new world beyond the Feed-in Tariff.

Community Warming - Dr Charlotte Adams, Durham University and Michael Beech, RINA
Next generation heat networks - Exploring the opportunities for efficient heat networks in the context of community heating schemes, including lower temperature heat distribution, source-side networks and smart control systems.

Mining for Heat - Coal delivered wealth and industrial growth for the UK over several centuries. Today coal is considered a dirty fuel and less is being used to generate electricity. Flooded abandoned coal mines across the UK offer a massive opportunity to supply low carbon heat to former mining areas. Half of UK energy demand is for heat and most is produced by burning gas. Finding low carbon alternatives to heat is essential, to mitigate against climate change and maintain secure energy supplies. Perhaps we can develop the legacy of our abandoned coal mines to meet energy demands of the future.

Impact Investing for Beginners - Tom Carman, Ethex
An interactive session looking at a range of topics including:

- Investor demand? It’s a project supply problem!
- Innovation in the sector
- Addressing the barriers to the supply of investable projects
- What have you got, and what’s stopping you?
- IFISA’s Bonds – Solar for Schools
- Continual investment – LCH/Brighton
- What evidence do you have that people like SITR?
- Reach and investment readiness
- What ‘form’ of match funding would help, and where help most?

Making Energy Efficiency Engaging and Affordable - Alex Hartley, South East London Community Energy and John Grant, Sheffield Hallam University
Energy efficiency work still has a bit an image problem: it’s the less sexy least talked about aspect of community energy work but, improving the thermal efficiency of our housing stock is imperative if we are to bring down our emissions and cater to the needs of the most vulnerable households living in hard to heat homes. Community Energy organisations are a trusted intermediary and we need to further harness this. This session provides ideas about how to overcome hurdles relating to communicating with stakeholders about energy efficiency from John Grant of Sheffield Hallam University and then provides an insight into how SELCE, South East London Community Energy, incorporated an energy efficiency social business model into their fuel poverty alleviation services. This whistle-stop tour looks at options and ideas for how to move energy efficiency to the top of the local agenda and importantly benefit the most vulnerable in society. 

Forming a Regional Hub for Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East – Emma Bridge, Community Energy England, Julian Dobson, Sheffield Hallam University and Leanne Wilson, North East Yorkshire and Humber Local Energy Hub
Discussion based on a soon to be launched research project conducted by Sheffield Hallam University and Community Energy England looking at the State of the Sector in Yorkshire, Humberside and the North East. Existing support available in the region will be explored along with what is happening in other regions where a regional hub has been set up.

Whole house Retrofits - Learning from the BEIS Local Supply Chains Pilots Jonathan Atkinson, Carbon Coop and Kayla Ente, BHESCo 
BHESCo will give an overview of the Warmer Sussex project – Lessons learned from Phase 1 Market research and Phase 2 Communities approach to attracting customers in the willing to pay market. This session will reveal interesting findings from surveys of 4,766 ABC1 Homeowners in London and the South East and then outline the comprehensive approach for promoting whole house retrofits by homeowners and in the private rental sector for Phase 2.

Carbon Co-op will be sharing the learning from the People Powered Retrofit pilot in Greater Manchester, highlighting householder research, contractor engagement, service design the creation of open, replicable IT tools for the sector.

Working spaces and refreshments are available for any meetings or collaborative working you want to embark upon. This day is your conference so feel free to pick, choose and wander between sessions or have some meetings over a coffee.

Also, whilst at the conference, you should take the opportunity to test your knowledge of the energy system. On the day, you can take part in the Great Energy Escape, an immersive game designed and ran by Carbon Coop and sponsored by Power to ChangeWe’re in grave danger and we need a team of skilled agents to break into the ancient 1970’s control room, re-boot the system, and get our city’s energy back online. We only have half an hour before the whole city shuts down for good. It’s up to you! Book your place for the Great Energy Escape here.

Cheaper than usual train tickets from London to Sheffield can be found here.

Information on accommodation can be found here. A Friday night and Saturday evening meet up may be arranged.

The event is being kindly sponsored by Electricity North West and Northern Powergrid. A variety of other sponsorship opportunities are available and if you are interested in exhibiting, please contact events@communityenergyengland.org.