Newsletter – January 2017

1. Bethesda in the News: Bethesda energy club shares hydro power in UK first

Bethesda has become a media star in the last month as news spreads of the of the trailblazing Energy Club trial which could change the way communities up and down the country produce, use and buy their electricity. The BBC reported how by clubbing together 100 households in Bethesda are able to buy their energy from the local hydro power scheme for half the price of their usual energy tariff. At the same time the hydro scheme receives a higher price than it would usually receive for the energy it sells. 

Our very own Dr Mary Gillie told the BBC this is a “win-win” for households and clean energy producers.

Local resident Cathrin Alwen Llywelyn is featured speaking about her plans to shift her habits around the house so as to make the most of local energy being generated, and maximise her financial savings using what is called a time of use energy tariff offered by Co-operative Energy as part of the project.  

Bethesda also featured on BBC’s personal finance programme Money Box.  Presenter Paul Lewis finds out that “every cloud really does have a silver lining” because when it rains in North Wales the residents know their local Hydro scheme is going to be running at full pelt and they can benefit from cheaper cleaner energy. The report also tells of how energy experts are watching this scheme closely as this could be “the start of a revolution in how we produce, use and sell energy”.

Click here to read about Bethesda on BBC News (13th December 2016)
Click here to listen to the Bethesda Energy Club trial featured on Money Box (8th January 2017)

2. Filming starts with Bethesda residents energy tips  

Work has begun to produce a short film working with national climate change charity 10:10 to share resident’s top tips for saving energy and changing their habits around the house, like using the washing machine or dishwasher after it has been raining and the hydro is running at full pelt, for example. The film will help future Energy Local Clubs to learn how to make the most of the scheme and will be available on Energy Local website in March.

3. 2017 and beyond – what next after Bethesda?

While work continues on the pilot project in Bethesda, Energy Local is starting to plan for the future expansion of the scheme too. Next week, we will be gathering with experienced community energy practitioners from Community Energy Wales, Scotland, the North of England and London to pass on everything we have learnt from the Energy Local Clubs so far and pick their brains for ideas about how we can get Energy Local ready to roll out elsewhere in the country as soon as possible..

Roll out of the scheme will be dependent on finding the right combination of funding, partners and energy generation opportunities and it is hoped that more schemes will be launched by the end of 2017.

4. Local energy and smart power – the national picture

Dr Mary Gillie continues to talk with policy makers about how we can make sure the energy system is more supportive of approaches like Energy Local. In January she attended a Community Energy Round table led at BEIS the newly formed Government department with responsibility for energy and climate change.

5. Jess’s energy shifting and demand shifting tips even with a little monkey in tow

Jess shares her top tips for saving energy and using “off-peak” electricity. Now that baby Matilda has arrived, life is a bit more home based and energy is being expended everywhere (appliances are not the only the culprit here…). 

Click here to read more. 

Coming up next month…In next months’ newsletter we will hear stories from resident energy champions in Bethesda about how they have been saving energy and shifting their energy use to match the generation of the local hydro scheme.