Getting started with community energy

Starting a community energy group can be a rewarding activity that delivers real impact on both social and environmental issues. When thinking about establishing a group it is important to understand a few key points before you get started -

  • What do you want the group to achieve?
  • Are there any other similar community groups in the area working towards a similar aim?
  • Why have other groups succeeded or failed and can any lessons be learned before starting a project?

Running a community energy project needs the drive and leadership of an individual or small group of people to succeed. This founding group will often create the initial idea and then develop it to create a vision of what the project will look like. This creates a strong foundation for a larger community group to develop over time.

Read how Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral project got started on their journey to zero carbon.

The Ace for Communities website from NEF has a section on forming community energy groups.

PlanLoCaL has an excellent selection of short videos that will inspire and offer practical advice for people wanting to set up a community energy project – whether you’re dealing with renewable energy generation, energy efficiency initiatives or even you just want to keep your community group strong.

The My Community website from Locality has a range of guides and case study resources for neighbourhood planning which can be useful for community groups. Communities can receive bespoke advice on grants, technical support and procurement via a phone line and web chat.