Community Energy Fortnight 2023, sponsored by Thrive Renewables, has been an extraordinary two weeks, filled with insightful events, informative webinars, engaging social media and exciting announcements. In this blog, we are delighted to highlight the breadth of the campaign and its key moments, showcasing the power of community-driven initiatives in the energy sector.
Member Engagement and Support
Firstly, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our members and friends who played an essential role in the success of Community Energy Fortnight 2023 by organising events, sharing insights, skills and knowledge, and providing unwavering support throughout the campaign. While led by CEE, it is through your participation and engagement that CEF becomes a vibrant event reaching across the country and out beyond the sector.
A Wide Range of Informative Events
CEE partnered with Younity, Buckinghamshire Community Energy, the Big Clean Switch and School for Social Entrepreneurs to host a series of online events during the Fortnight. These included Younity’s volunteering platform launch, a funding application workshop, and Q&A sessions covering retrofit, ventilation, energy advice and REGOs. We are thrilled that over 200 individuals from the community energy sector participated in these events to learn and share expertise. Our fantastic members and friends held at least 20 events during the Fortnight, including several site tours and lots more skills sharing; we are grateful to all organisations whose events added to the success of the Fortnight both online and in person.
All the events we hosted during CEF and any sent to us by members are now available on our YouTube Channel. Our CEF 2023 playlist allows anyone to revisit or catch up on the insightful discussions and share the learning with others in the sector.
A Vibrant Social Media Presence
Social media has become the heart of the Fortnight’s and engagement was again phenomenal this year. We worked hard to spotlight all the events, blogs and launches, sending 116 tweets over the Fortnight - thank you to everyone who follows us and shared our content into their networks. We are grateful to our community members, Bristol Energy Network, Carbon co-op, Community Energy London, Energy Heroes, Solar for Schools and Energy Local, and event sponsor Thrive Renewables, for hosting takeovers and sharing their news, insights and resources through our Twitter account.
Newsletters & Blogs
We used daily newsletters to give members and stakeholders up-to-date information on events, important announcements, and resources. We are delighted to note that the newsletters received over 7,000 opens since the start of the campaign, successfully reaching a wide audience of community energy enthusiasts. We also published nine blogs written by a range of our members and stakeholders - thank you to all of the authors.
Community Energy Fortnight is often host to announcements and launches from the sector and beyond. This year was no exception and the numerous exciting announcements included two developments from the recent co-operation between CEE and the Co-operative and Labour Parties:
- We are grateful to the Co-operative Party for adopting our #CommunityEnergyNow strapline and incorporating it into their supportive and ambitious plan and campaign for community energy.
- CEE gave a warm welcome to Labour's 'Local Power Plan'. This endorsement signifies a crucial step forward in recognising the value of local communities in shaping sustainable energy policies.
Younity launched their new volunteering platform for the community energy sector - you can find out more about it and register as an organisation or volunteer here.
We also revealed plans and opened registration for CEE’s summer conference in September, as well as our awards and an autumn conference in November - stay tuned for more details soon.
What Kind of Impact has CEF had?
We are keen to try and gauge the impact and reach of Community Energy Fortnight. This year we have used Meltwater analysis, which has shown online engagement around “community energy fortnight” increased 1150% (primarily social media). The analysis also produces a keyword cloud capturing the topics that people have been talking about online and illustrating how conversations during CEF have covered a broad range of topics, prospects, skills and issues. The word cloud also demonstrates how vibrant both the sector and the Fortnight are, with huge positivity, enthusiasm and ambition.
Community Energy Fortnight 2023 has been a huge success, demonstrating the power, reach and passion of community energy practitioners and organisations across the country. It is your determination and dedication that means the community energy sector continues to thrive and make a lasting impact on our sustainable energy future. Thank you all for your invaluable contributions!