Devon leads the community energy revolution


  • Devon has more community energy organisations than any other county in the UK, generating 17,431 MWh of green energy.
  • 23 grassroots organisations have installed 12.3 MW of capacity through 62 community-owned renewable electricity generation projects.

A new impact report launched today shows that there are more community energy organisations in Devon than any other county in the UK. As well as generating 17,431 MWh of clean green energy, which has saved 6080 tonnes of CO2 emissions, these local organisations have supported 2,717 homes to save money on energy bills and use energy more efficiently.

The Devon Community Energy Impact Report 2018 was a collaboration between renewable energy experts Regen, Devon County Council and the 23 community energy organisations who took part. These organisations give local people greater control over how energy is generated and used, and they maximise the engagement and local economic benefit from renewable energy projects.

Community energy organisations in Devon have already raised £14.1 million of investment, including £5.5 million through community shares which generate a return for local people who have invested. They have also created 33 FTE jobs. Community benefit funds from just four community-owned renewables projects in this report will provide over £1 million to tackle fuel poverty, and help Devon communities do more to look after each other and the environment until 2030.

Devon has approximately 905 MW of renewable electricity installed as of March 2017, with 1.3% of total installed renewable electricity in Devon is community owned. This small percentage has a huge social, environmental and local economic impact, and the report launched today helps demonstrate that.

Councillor Roger Croad, Cabinet Member for Community, Public Health, Transportation and Environmental Services said: “I’m very pleased that Devon is a leader in the community energy revolution and that the support provided by the county council since 2011 has played a part in this achievement. Each of these organisations is different – some focus on providing energy efficiency and fuel poverty advice while others concentrate on community-owned renewable energy. All of this activity enhances local skills, creates jobs, improves health and helps the environment. I would like to congratulate everybody, many of whom are volunteers, for making these initiatives such a success. I look forward to seeing how they develop in the future.”

Katie Reville, Director of South Dartmoor Community Energy said: "The community energy sector is an exciting area to work in, as it has economic, social and environmental benefits for the local area. Through our advice services we help residents to save energy and money in their homes and to live more comfortably and we can also give people the opportunity to get involved in, and benefit from, renewable energy schemes. We're really proud of what community energy groups in Devon are achieving."

“This report demonstrates the power of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to make their communities stronger and more resilient. Not only are they generating homegrown clean energy, they are maximising the value of projects by employing local people and companies, helping vulnerable people save money on energy bills and improving people’s quality of life. These projects happen thanks to the dedication and determination of a few individuals. I would encourage everyone to join this quiet revolution, get involved in your local group, become a supporter or volunteer, because this is a story of true local empowerment” said Jodie Giles, Communities Project Manager at Regen.

You can find out more here and see the full report on the Regen website