Newsletter – November/December 2015

SWELL trials go live

It has taken a bit longer than expected to get all the equipment installed but we are now ready to go and started the 12-month trial on the 30th November. We held drop in sessions that we for participants to discuss how they were getting on with their equipment and exchange tips. Many thanks for all the feedback, we will try to act on it all. We will also distribute recipes for slow cooking – one way to avoid using electricity during the evening peak. We will be sending information to participants about their energy use over the last month in the near future so they can monitor how they are.

We are delighted to be working with 1010UK who will help us provide guidance and information to participants and generally spread the word.

Ashoka Schneider Foundation Award

Energy Local has been selected with 14 other organisations from across Europe as winners of the ‘Social Innovation to Tackle Fuel Poverty Programme’ from 270 applicants. By providing low cost green power and retaining income within a community Energy Local is a new way to tackle fuel poverty. This is a mentoring programme with the aim to helps us scale fast across the UK and learn from others working across Europe. We plan to use their expertise to help build a support network across UK for CESCos (Community Energy Services Company) as we prove the business model.

The launch of the programme was in Paris on the 4th December as part of the activities around COP21. We met the other participants from across Europe but were particularly interested in those from UK who we hope to work with.

Best Business Innovation Award – Green Energy Awards

Energy Local is winner of the Best Business Innovation Award 2015 pat of the Green Energy Awards run by RegenSW. Tom Parkinson attended the gala dinner and accepted the award on the 25 November. It is an affirmation of the urgent need for communities to be able to invest and get the true value from locally owned green power.

DNO interest at LCNI

The LCNI is the yearly conference for distribution network operators (DNOs – who maintain our electricity wires). Energy Local exhibited on the InnovateUK stand and also discussed Energy Local with representatives of 4 DNOs. We were pleased with their interest and the potential for Energy Local to reduce constraints on our networks. Ultimately that will save us all money by reducing the amount of new wires and infrastructure that have to be built – and hassle as we won’t need to dig up the roads!

We hope to develop a project to look at these benefits in more detail to run alongside a pilot.