Joe Burrows, courtesy of North Kensington Community Energy, Repowering London
Make your MP a community energy champion
Your local MP is your link to parliament - you may not agree with everything they do but working with them is a great way to influence policy and raise the profile of your project. The first thing to do is write to your MP. Check out our handy guide here and click here to download a template letter. Ask for a meeting or better still invite them for a site visit. This will be a great opportunity to showcase your work, and speak to them about what support you need.
Share your progress
As COP gets closer, we are expecting more and more focus on climate change and innovative solutions in the media. So there has never been a better time to get in touch with the local and national media to help your work reach a wider audience. We have a range of resources to help you engage successfully with the media here.
Just as important is social media. It’s arguably the most important campaigning tool - and it’s free! There are lots of different platforms you can use, and different ways to get people engaged. We’ve put together a quick how-to for social media with a basic run-through of the platforms and a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your social media presence.
Build relations with your local authority and in your area.
In the absence of central government support, local governments may be able to enable projects, through funding, investment, opportunities, connections, contracts, Local Area Energy Planning etc. Three London boroughs have set up Community Energy Funds. 74% of councils have made Climate Emergency Declarations and are employing new officers to carry out emerging Climate Emergency Plans. There may be contracts to be had, roofs to access, Local Area Energy Planning to participate in. Councillors also need connecting with to lead political change and keep energy and climate change high up the agenda.
Gordon Henderson MP visits Orchard Community Energy
Hold a climate event
Events can do so much for you - they can bring your volunteers and members together and help you make links within your community. They can also be a great hook for media exposure or getting stakeholders down to visit your site. Alongside arranging an MP visit, a good time to do this could be during the Great Big Green Week. It’s organised by The Climate Coalition and will consist of thousands of events up and down the country. This will help promote your event and hopefully get people along who might otherwise not be aware of your work!