Crowhurst in East Sussex, has received a £40,000 grant from the government’s Rural Community Energy Fund for an exciting new project to help it become a low carbon village.
The Warmer Crowhurst Clean Energy Project will investigate how its residents can be provided with affordable, reliable, clean heat to help reduce carbon emissions in line with the parish’s net zero by 2030 ambitions.
At a series of launch events in Crowhurst, residents were invited to participate in a range of project initiatives to help support the creation of a decarbonisation plan for the village. As a result, households have signed up for a free heat analysis of their property and will participate in a detailed energy use questionnaire.
Local community energy co-operative Energise Sussex Coast (ESC), working collaboratively with Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo) secured the grant. They will work with RINA (an international energy consultancy), along with the support of Crowhurst Parish Council, to produce a decarbonisation plan for the village.
Plans will include the design of modern, low-carbon heat networks and renewable heating systems. It is anticipated that heat networks will be installed at no upfront cost to village residents and would be collectively, in part or wholly owned, by the residents and businesses of Crowhurst, according to BHESCo.
ESC explained that the Warmer Crowhurst Clean Energy Project aims to empower the village to say goodbye to volatile costs and dirty air associated with oil and LPG boilers, in anticipation of their eradication through climate change legislation from central government.
Ros Day, Chairperson, Crowhurst Parish Council, said:
“The securing of the grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund was a real coup! Many thanks to ESC and BHESCo. This means we are now able to take the first steps forward on Crowhurst’s vision to be carbon neutral by 2030. More importantly, in a way that has the best interests of the community at its heart. The project launch events really engaged villagers and clearly demonstrated how their involvement in the project can help pave the way forward.”
Kate Meakin, from Energise Sussex Coast, said:
“There are villages and towns across the country looking at how they can transition to a fossil fuel free future in a way that will benefit their community. We are so excited to be working on this pioneering project with the inspiring team at the parish council and its Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group. We hope this project will lead to local residents benefiting from warmer homes, clean energy and cheaper bills.”
Kayla Ente, from BHESCO, said
“We are thrilled with this opportunity to apply the knowledge that we have gained on previous rural community energy projects to the village of Crowhurst. We are hoping that our partnership with the parish council will bring the people of the village together in a united effort to transition the village from dirty oil heating to clean, affordable renewable heat. This project is very important to the nation if we are to meet our net zero targets. We are grateful to Energise Sussex Coast and the parish council for their agreement to work with us on this exciting project.”
Kate Meakin, Energise Sussex Coast – firstname.lastname@example.org 01424 390 062
Roland Baldock, BHESCo – email@example.com 01273 284470
For enquiries about Crowhurst Parish Council: Deborah Upton, Clerk to Crowhurst Parish Council firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
Photos available on request.
Energise Sussex Coast is a community benefit co-operative. Our mission is to act co-operatively to tackle the climate crisis and energy injustice through community owned renewable power and energy saving schemes. www.energisesussexcoast.co.uk
Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo) is a not-for-profit social enterprise working with communities to design, build, own and operate locally generated renewable energy generation and clean, affordable heating systems. BHESCo operates within the community energy sector, providing consultancy and project management services and developing new projects through the power of community investment. www.bhesco.co.uk
RINA are an international energy consultancy specialising in heat networks. www.rina.org
Crowhurst is a small village equidistant between Battle, Hastings and Bexhill-on-Sea in East Sussex. The project will focus on the village’s 331 households which are off gas, residents currently using mainly oil or electric heating systems.