Energy Local and Bethesda win Sustainable Rural Innovation Award, Green Heart Heros Award 2018
We are delighted to win the Sustainable Rural Innovation Award in the Green Heart Heros Awarrd 2018 with Bethesda. Well done to everyone. Many thanks to the hard work of all our partners. These awards are organised by the Climate Coalition and this shows how Energy Local is significant for the environment as a whole, not just energy. https://www.theclimatecoalition.org/green-heart-hero/
Two new Energy Local Clubs to start in Wales
Energy Local Crickhowell is to start recruitment for its initial membership in early 2018. The Club will use both community and privately owned hydro generators in the local area. The potential member areas of Crickhowell, Llangattock, Lnangynidr and Llanbedr are vibrant communities with well organised groups andlong-runningg community initiatives. We expect there to be great interest in the Energy Local opportunity. In the longer term, there are several more hydro schemes and some large solar PV generators also connected to Crickhowell which we aim to engage with once the Club is established.
Carmarthenshire Energy Ltd are looking to develop Energy Local on two sites in Carmarthenshire.The first site is in Llangadog, in the Tywi Valley between Llandeilo and Llandovery. There is Anaerobic Digestion plant being run by AGL Energy. They hope to produce electricity from green waste, grass, silage and hedge trimmings. This unit will be supplemented by a high-head hydro installation, recently
built by Brecon Beacons National Park on Garreg Lwyd in the Black Mountains. The second site is in Pentrecwrt, Llandysul in the Teifi Valley. The Allt Cafan woolen mill was a major employer up to the 1980s. There is still a weir, leat and weaving shed. Carms. energy hold full permissions to reinstate the 100kW hydro. This can be supplemented by a locally owned 150kW PV system.
Meet our new team members Linda and Holly
I’m Linda Hilton and I am a PhD chemist. I have worked for large and small organisations including Unilever, Amec, the European Commission, Arvia Technology and Samarind Regulatory Management Systems. I joined Energy Local to manage the development of the Brownie system and dashboard that helps people to easily shift their electricity usage to when there is plenty of local generation available, or to when the tariff is cheaper. In the past month, I have been testing our system here at home, so that everyone can benefit from this “little helping hand” when we release it. I was attracted to Energy Local because of its ethical values and its passion to help people save money, promote social cohesion and look after the planet.
Hello, I am Holly Tomlinson. After studying politics, economics and law, I spent six years working for the renewable energy company, Ecotricity. I was really excited to learn about Energy Local as an innovative way to support renewable energy; bring benefits to local communities; and reward changes in energy use that make the whole system more efficient. Since joining the team, I have worked with the partner supplier, Co-operative Energy improving processes and on preparing for the next Energy Local clubs and worked on a new project applying the Energy Local model to a business customer in Scotland. I have recently moved to North Wales, not far from Bethesda, and live on a co-operative vegetable farm. Here, I help with admin and every now so often get my hands dirty growing veg.
2017 has been a fantastic year for Energy Local – thank you to all involved for making it happen – Cyd Ynni, National Trust, the people of Bethesda, Co-operative Energy, our funders, partners and everyone else who has helped along the way. THANK YOU!
Take a peek at our 2-minute film about Energy Local and meet some of the local people involved. Please share the film if you can so that we can register lots more people to get involved in 2018.
Energy Local Dashboard for Club members
6th November 2017
We’ve just published the results from our first survey of participants. You can download the full report click here.
The results show that the average saving for the majority of people involved between the months of November 2016 and July 2017 was 24%! Hydro generated electricity accounted for nearly 50% of their electricity use. The survey also asked people about the social aspects of the project, clarity of information and their motivations for taking part.
Energy Local has was highly commended by the Community Renewable Energy Project Award. We’re really proud to have been recognised for this work and very grateful to all our partners and supporters, especially those who have been working with us in Bethesda this year. CEE said about Energy Local:
“At its heart is the desire, shared by so many in the community energy world, to use renewable energy to directly benefit the lives of communities. Stated by one judge as potentially a “game changer” and by another as a project that “could be the holy grail of what community energy could be”.
Even smarter, smart meters
The next step in testing better communications with smart meters for homes with poor mobile or GPRS signal has begun! There were two homes in Bethersda where we have struggled to communicate at all with smart meters. This meant we would not have been able to read how much power they were using automatically – preventing them joining Energy Local. Now an organisation called Energy Assets are testing out using broadband. Once this approach has been accepted by the industry we can get them onto the Energy Local project.
Energy Local project update Bethesda North Wales – plans to expand the scheme
The Energy Local club organised a great evening for members and others in the community. Mary gave an update on progress and plans to bring a second Hyrdro power plant, Ynni Ogwen into the Club and double the number of households involved (currently over 100) from March 2018. Ammie from Cooperative Energy answered queries from residents. The highlight of the evening was Peter Draper, he gave examples of dos and don’ts when insulating old homes and the importance of letting the building breathe – advice will be on the Energy Local website soon. Peter gave some real-life examples having advised 5 households in detail as case studies. All fuelled on tea, coffee and Welsh cakes. The club plan to get together again after Christmas. Thanks to all involved.
You can read an interview with Tom, an Energy Local club member who talks about switching from a pay-as-you-go meter to the Energy Local club, click here.
Energy Local to arrive in London! Energy Local project to launch in Brixton
10:10 and Repowering London have secured funding to deliver an Energy Local project with a community in Brixton. The project will take place at one of Repowering London’s existing solar schemes on the Roupell housing estate and will kick off in October with some community consultation to help shape the project to best fit the needs of local residents. The project will run for 18 months initially and see residents save money on their energy bills by matching their energy demand to local renewable energy, produced on site and by using energy at “off-peak” times of the day.
Energy Local shortlisted for Community Energy England project of the Year Award
The Community Energy England project of the year award winner will be announced on 1st of November and recognises the most outstanding renewable electricity generation project undertaken by a community group. Projects are judged on the basis of project delivery, level of community engagement and involvement of volunteers and the level of community benefits.
Energy Local project update, Bethesda North Wales
Thanks to our Energy Champions
We met up with our Energy Local champions, who have been helping households to understand how Energy Local works and what they can do make the most of cost savings available. They spoke directly with our partners Cooperative Energy to feedback on the experiences of households. We’d like to thank them for all their hard work in helping others to take part in this scheme and learn how to use their energy in a totally new way. You can read an interview with Carwyn, one of our Energy Local champions, here.
Energy efficiency in homes
Judith Kaufman has been giving working with households in Bethesda on a one-to-one basis to understand the simple steps they can take to save energy around the home, carrying out home energy assessments. Feedback from members has been that they would also like information on the trickier energy efficiency measures – like solid wall insulation for older homes. We will be planning an event around these measures at the end of September and will also be able to give an update on next steps for Energy Local in Bethesda.
Working towards for the roll out of Energy Local nationally
We have been working hard on developing around a dozen potential new Energy Local projects with local energy generators and their communities. We now need to secure grant funding and partnerships, however we are not short of enthusiasm from communities or ambition! Watch this space, hopefully we will be able to update more on this next month!
Tools for new Energy Local communities
Work continues on the energy modelling toolkit to help communities with an interest in generating more local renewable energy understand whether their schemes could stack up financially by being part of an Energy Local club. We’ll be testing the model initially with several potential new projects in Wales. We’re also doing some exciting work developing on line tools and a potential app for households to make it easy for them to match their energy use with local renewable energy generated.