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July 2017

Northern Powergrid’s Local Supply workshop

Organised by Northern Powergrid, Mary joined representatives from Local Authorities and local community energy groups to discuss how local markets can make the distribution system (the wires that deliver electricity to our homes) smarter and more efficient.  Northern Powergrid is keen to work with the sector to benefit everyone. Amongst the other speakers, Mary was pleased to hear Stephen Hall from Leeds University speak on how fast the electricity market is developing as part of a new economy – Energy Local wants to be part of this new economy.

10:10s Transformation Moment – event

dsc_0327_1024Transformation Moment brought together some of the leading lights from exciting projects in the local energy scene, to discuss and debate the future direction for locally owned, democratic energy. Energy Local presented the Bethesda project and the potential for communities up and down the country to benefit from this model in the future which would help to tackle fuel poverty and inject new investment into small scale community renewables. Overall there was a fierce debate and a lot of consensus around the need for collaboration. Plus, all round agreement that we are at a very exciting moment in the history of our energy system.

Energy Local’s Dashboard technology 

Working with Open Energdeeonhnhfkkhpmfgy Monitor, we have been working on improving the Energy Dashboard display which helps households visualise when they are managing to use power generated locally. This is one of a number of ways we are helping people to shift the time at which they use energy so as to save themselves money and benefit their local area. Take a peek.

Coming soon – energy Local promotional film! 

10:10 have been in Bethesda with a local filmmaker creating a brand new Energy Local promo film that will give a snippet of people’s experiences of the project in North Wales. This film will be available to other aspiring Energy Local clubs in order to help them show their communities the benefits of the project and get local renewables generators on board too. Thanks to the wonderful Energy Local participants – Catrin Wager and her children, and Tom and Caz Simone and their little one. Plus, the ever-amazing Keith from the National Trust who took part in the film. 

People want local sustainable energy! Ofgem Future Consumer event 

Energy Local was invited to participate in this Ofgem Future Consumer event (5th July), which attempted to examine the evolving domestic energy market in light of innovations including smart meters, time of use tariffs, and half hourly settlement. The most interesting presentation was from Antonia Dickman at Ipsos MORI. She described the recent polling results which demonstrate the general public preference for local and sustainable energy. Click here to view the Ipsos MORI slides. 

At the meeting, 58% participants expressed concern that vulnerable people will miss out on future innovations in energy. Click here to view the poll results in full. 

National Energy Action pointed out that many customers who use pre-pay meters are extremely engaged with their energy spending but often don’t switch supplier.


07 June 2017

Film: Top tips for shifting your energy demand

A big part of making Energy Local work is helping people to shift their energy use to renewable-rich times of the day – when the hydro is pumping, the sun shining or the wind blowing! In our Bethesda pilot we’ve produced a short film with some top tips to help those involved. Click here to view the film in Welsh, or in English.

23 May 2016

Cyd Ynni -Ynni Lleol Project Time of Use Tariff

On top of any local generation used at 7p/kWh, Cooperative Energy will sell power at the following prices for the CydYnni  – Ynni Lleol trial:

Time of Use Tariff

Time of Use Tariff

More info

26 April 2016

Cyd Ynni-Ynni Lleol project: ready to go

Energy Local has made a major step forward with our Bethesda-based project, Cyd Ynni-Ynni Lleol. With the great support of our project partner TMA (who collect and manage data from our electricity meters) and advice from Ofgem, we have reached an agreement for the ‘behind the scenes’ processing of the data from Elexon. It’s great that TMA and Elexon are keen to find innovative ways of working. This all means that we are now ready to carry out the first trial.  We are pleased that Ofgem is supportive of our innovative approach and will be looking to the project to see how it benefits consumers: it’s about participatingin the energy market as well as delivering lower bills. 


28 February 2016

Recruiting now for our Bethesda trial with Cyd Ynni

A huge thank you to the Welsh Government and the Energy Saving Trust who have provided funding for a first stage trial in Bethesda, North Wales. Working with Ynni Ogwen and Partneriaeth Ogwen, we will be helping residents to reduce their electricity bills while supporting a local hydro power project.

We are now recruiting households in Bethesda to be part of the trial. The project is called Cyd Ynni:Ynni Lleol, and more information is available at (there’s a form to complete if you want to be involved) or email If you live in the area, or know someone who does, and would like to find out more, please get in touch.

We are organising information events for residents who are curious about the project, with presentations and the chance to speak to someone from the project team. 

Byddwn hefyd yn trefnu sesiynau galw i mewn i roi cyfle i bobl gofrestru a chael mwy o wybodaeth. Bydd y sesiwn nesaf yn Swyddfa Partneriaeth Ogwen ar y 13eg o Ebrill am 1 o’r gloch.

There will be further drop in sessions, the next one will be on April 13th at Partneriaeth Ogwen’s Offices at 1pm.

More information is available here.


28 February 2016

SWELL trials – January results

Energy Local’s Oxfordshire-based SWELL trial is investigating how to help people change the time when they use electricity. The idea is to minimise demand during peak times and to match electricity use with locally-generated power from solar panels.

Data from project participants tells us that nearly a fifth of the power demand came during the morning peak. But there were quite significant household variations in this pattern of electricity use. So, one household works hard to keep in control and, for example, does the washing when it’s sunny. Their efforts mean that only 6% of their electricity was used during the evening peak in January!

A typical day’s electricity use during January was a total of around 700 units for all participants. We knew that the January figures for power generation from the solar panels would be low, as it wasn’t particularly sunny and the sun is low in the sky at this time of year. There wasn’t a great deal of spare power to share with SWELL participants, but even so, each participant had access to 3 units of local solar electricity during the month. We expect this figure to grow quite quickly in the coming months, particularly if we have sunny days.


28 February 2016

Thanks to all our SWELL participants!

Many thanks to the SWELL participants who braved the weather to attend the drop-in session in Shrivenham Memorial Hall on 13 February. Tom, Mary and Robin from Energy Local were joined by Jesse Scharf from the charity 10:10, who are helping us show participants how they are getting on in the trial.

During the session, we were able to clear up a number of technical questions and chat about energy-related issues. Participants borrowed two energy monitors to find out more about the energy use of specific appliances (thanks to the Environmental Change Institute for the loan of these monitors). We also discussed the large amount of electricity used by halogen lights in kitchens and how to identify suitable alternative LED lamps. We are hoping to do more on lighting in a future drop-in session.


28 February 2016

Energy on the move

Energy Local’s own Mary Gillie is keeping track of her efforts to shift her personal energy demand.

“I thought it was time that I practised what I preach and see what load I can shift in my house. Not being a ‘gadget freak’ there, I don’t have lots of widgets. I have an outdoor covered area for drying clothes, so don’t have tumble dryer and I wash my dishes by hand. However, I cook on electric. My heating is biomass boiler which uses a bit of power and I have solar thermal for water heating.
Like many people with a busy life I rush in and out of the house a lot, so making sure I have enough clean underwear and getting the hoovering done at all can be a challenge as it is!
So what have I managed? I have put the washing on in the middle of a sunny day, or at night. While I have a delay function on the washing machine, I naturally keep late hours so switching the machine on before I go to bed works quite well. My washing machine also has a eco setting (20 degrees), and I plan to look at the difference in energy consumption between different settings – I will report more next month.
I have an allotment that I tend to visit at the weekend. I often do bulk cooking of the produce ready for the week ahead, and I try to do this before the evening peak. I have just bought a slow cooker so that I can leave it to cook over night. Being lazy, I have established that for vegetables I can ‘just put it all in together’ and let it cook! I am considering using a timer to help me schedule this. I have also investigated baking in a slow oven over night, rather than heating the whole of the oven up – something else to report back on next month.”


25 February 2016

Taking our message to electricity distributors

Energy Local was pleased to be invited to speak to senior figures in the electricity distribution industry this month.  In her presentation to the Acumen 2016 event, Dr Mary Gillie talked about Energy Local’s work in community energy and the prospects for electricity distribution network operators (DNOs). These are the people who provide the final stage of electricity distribution, converting power from high voltage lines to the lower voltage electricity that they then distribute to our homes and businesses.

We are delighted to be in touch with Scottish and Southern Energy, the DNO for Oxfordshire, who are interested in the results from SWELL (see early results above) and in understanding how it might be used to reduce costs and make their systems more efficient. Likewise, we are in discussion with Scottish Power Manweb, who operate in Bethesda, North Wales, to see how we can work together to share the results of our forthcoming trial (above).


29 January 2016

Linking local energy and economy

As part of our continuing development work in Wales, and we are delighted to be working with Chris Blake, Chair of Community Energy Wales to investigate how community energy can be used to develop local economies. The North Wales community organisations that form Cyd Ynni commissioned this work, but it is likely that many of the findings will be applicable elsewhere.


26 January 2016

First results for SWELL trial

Despite grey skies, SWELL participants still achieved savings in the first month of the trial. A forthcoming drop-in session with participants will explain the results and provide time for further discussion. In the mean time, Energy Local has provided participants with data showing their energy use over the last few months so they can see their progress. We will be working with low-carbon group 10:10 to develop ‘top tips’ for making changes to the times electricity is used, and finding better, clearer ways to display the data. Hopefully we can all learn together. 


22 January 2016

New trial in North Wales: Cyd Ynni & Ynni Lleol

Cyd Ynni (Energy Together) is a consortium of five community energy groups in Bethesda in North Wales. Energy Local (Ynni Lleol in Welsh) is working with Cyd Ynni to develop a new trial in the area (read about our meeting here). If you live in the Bethseda area, keep an eye on our tweets, newsletter and website for more details.


November 2015

Energy Local is wins Best Business Innovation for Regen SW Green Energy Awards

Energy Local won the Regen SW Best Innovation Business Award at the awards ceremony at Bath’s historic Assembly Rooms on 25 November 2015. Thanks for all the support.  Busy year ahead.

5th September 2015

Energy Local is Highly Commended for the Community Energy Innovation Award 2015

Community Energy Awards LogoEnergy Local was Highly Commended for the Community Energy Innovation Award.  Administered by Community Energy England in association with Energise London and the Community Energy Coalition, there were a number of categories to recognise the good work within the sector. More information about the awards and the ceremony at Community Energy Awards.  Thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far!

Friday 10th July 2015

Energy Local Wins prestigious Stephen Lloyd Award

Mary Gillie and Peter Benson celebrate winning the Stephen Lloyd Award with a bottle of Champagne

Energy Local won the inaugural Stephen Lloyd Award on Thursday 9th July 2015.  In memory of Stephen Lloyd, it is awarded to support new social enterprises that aim to initiate systemic change in society.  

Shortlisted to the last 10 candidate social enterprises from 103 applicants, Energy Local presented its vision of its market and social innovation that can transform the lives of 100 000s by tackling fuel poverty and create a cleaner, greener future by accelerating the growth of community renewables.  The other 9 candidates also offered exciting and valuable initiatives and therefore the competition was stiff and was decided on a vote from supporters.

Not only does it provide Energy Local with funding but also a network of valuable in-kind support, all of which will allow us to accelerate the development of Energy Local and benefit communities faster.  We are hugely grateful for the support and enthusiasm for Energy Local that in itself renews our energy. 

Time to deliver!

Energy Local and Westmill feature in The Guardian

Guardian turbine image

Energy Local and Westmill get a mention in an article by Leo Murray in the Guardian 10th July 2015 – ‘The UK energy system is in thrall to giant utilities – all at customers’ expense‘.

We are a bit of good news in a report on the problems of the UK energy market. 


‘Reserve’ places available on our SWELL trial
(Shrivenham Watchfield Energy Local with Longcot)
We now have the 50 homes needed signed up for the trial but there’s always the possibility of people moving away etc. before the trial starts in September. So, if you live in (or close to) Shrivenham, Watchfield or Longcot and you’d like to go on our ‘reserve’ list then please – 
Email or call or text 07811 085661.

Official Energy Local Launch

Energy Local had its official launch as part of the fantastic Community Open Day held at Westmill Wind and Solar Farm on Saturday 20th June.

 Jonathan Porritt CBE spoke and visitors had the opportunity to stand inside a 50m wind turbine; walk among 20,000 solar panels; make a solar panel & windmill and race wind-powered model cars. The people behind UK community energy successes were available to chat over ice-cream and coffee inspiring visitors to cut their fuel bills. 

Click here for full details of the Open Day

Weset Free Event

WeSET – Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust


Energy use and its Cost

We have written a leaflet on ‘Energy use and its Cost’

Energy Use

 Click here to read (or right click to download) the leaflet

25th February 2015 – Ofgem’s Non-Traditional Business Model (NTBM) Discussion Paper

12th March 2015 – Energy Local Respond to Ofgem’s NTBM Discussion paper