It was a gorgeously sunny evening for our event on Wednesday 5th July, we were delighted that over 30 people joined us to hear about the national movement of community energy groups across the UK, and what we are doing right here in our corner of South Devon.
We heard from Jake Burnyeat at Communities for Renewables about how the UK energy network is changing as more and more renewable energy generation projects come on line, Tim Crook-Giles from Regen spoke about the evolution and rise of community energy groups across the UK - there are now more than 220 organisations!
Jon Selman from our neighbours at Plymouth Energy Community shared some of their experiences of delivering successful projects and how these are benefiting the local community. Then our own Katie Reville explained what SDCE is doing to meet the challenges and take advantage of all the opportunities available, and last but not least Peter Brown from Yealm Community Energy described their large solar scheme.
Everyone was quite inspired by the potential to get involved in all these exciting projects, and it was great to have support from so many local organisations and neighbouring energy groups.
Click on the photos below to download the pdf presentations.
We all really enjoyed listening to Matt Harvey, a local poet, read some of his poems over dinner. You can buy his book or download a free e-book here.
In a few weeks events will be taking place across the UK to celebrate Community Energy Fortnight. SDCE has hopped on the bandwagon and is launching three different events.
The first is a poster competition with students from Ivybridge Community College, we know that young people care about our planet, and we want to give them a space to have their voice heard and a chance to work on a real PR campaign to inspire and motivate people to make lifestyle changes. The deadline is 10th June.
Then, on the 17th June we'll be holding our very first Energy Lab, a mini interactive exhibition on energy. Open between from 9.30am - 1pm in the pop-up shop in Glanvilles Mill in Ivybridge. The winning posters will be on display. And there will be activities for all ages. Why not pop down and chat to the team, and find out what we're up to.
Our third event is on the 5th July at Ivybridge Library with speakers from Regen, Plymouth Energy Community and SDCE. This is our evening session on the Community Energy Revolution. A great opportunity to hear about the changes happening in the energy market and how communities can benefit.
Hope to see you somewhere!
We were sad to say goodbye to Andrew Ashley as Chair of SDCE, who has been a great part of the team. We're very grateful for everything he has brought to SDCE.
We're delighted that Alan Calcott will now step up from Vice Chair to Chair. Alan has been integral to getting the team up to speed on the technicalities of roof top solar PV projects and going out and meeting potential business partners.
And to replace Alan, Katie Reville was voted in as Vice Chair. Katie is a non-stop force for change, currently working on developing some really exciting new projects for SDCE.
If you're interested in joining the team, we'd love to hear from you, please get in touch.
We had a great time at Ivybridge Library today, Valentine's Day, sharing and showing the love for wind power. We made pinwheels and the children came up with ideas to save energy at home. A big THANK YOU to the staff at the library for allowing the noisy rabble!
We wanted to raise awareness that although all forms of energy generation are subsidised, and despite the fact that onshore wind is the cheapest form of low carbon generation, the UK government is excluding it from receiving the same support as other fossil fuel technologies. Citizens Advice found that by preventing low cost on shore wind being built will mean householders face even bigger energy bill rises as we have to pay for more expensive energy generation.
If, like us, you think this is a pretty bad idea, you can sign 10:10's petition.
We will be running a briefing session in February for anyone who would like to learn how to help others reduce their fuel bills.
Wednesday 13th, 7pm - 8pm, Ivybridge Library, Erme Court, PL21 0SZ
The session lasts an hour, and is FREE (booking essential) and is suitable for befrienders, carers, home visiting professionals or anyone who would like to help clients, friends or family to get the best energy deal.
We will also cover how to access extra support from your supplier and making sure your home is energy efficient.
For more information, please click here.
Join us for a drink and a sandwich on Wednesday 18th January, drop in anytime from 4-7pm, at the Westward Inn, Lee Mill, PL21 9EE.
From 5.30pm we'll have a short series of talks:
Our technical team and specialist renewables lawyer will be available to chat and answer your questions.
There will be drinks and nibbles, and a large free car park, so pop in on your way home from work.
More information about the Lee Mill Solar Roof Project can be found here.
We are really excited to announce our new Community Solar Roof Project. SDCE was awarded a grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund to carry out a feasibility study to look at the potential for community owned solar PV on some of the roofs at Lee Mill Industrial Estate in the South Hams.
We are in the process of recruiting businesses on the estate who would be interested to take part in the study. There is no cost to the business.
The aim is to find at least five roofs suitable for PV, to then run a community share offer to raise the finance to install the panels. The businesses would receive reduced rate renewable electrcity and all profits from the sale of the electricity would be invested into a community fund used to increase the sustainability of the local area.
For more details on this project please click here.
SDCE Energy Advice Team are delighted to have helped 100 people already, since launching our advice service only a few weeks ago. We have been out and about across the South Hams at community events and drop in advice sessions, helping residents to understand their fuel bills and check they’re on the best energy deal.
We reached the milestone of having spoken to 100 people on Wednesday 9th November, whilst visiting Grosvenor Court in Ivybridge. Mrs Presland, who was attending the weekly coffee morning, was identified as the 100th customer and presented with a box of yummy chocolates to mark the occasion.
Katie Reville commented: “We are finding that lots of people are very loyal to their fuel suppliers but if they’re brave enough to shop around they could save £200-300 a year. We have already helped many households through the switching process and on average they will save £150 per year.
Many of us are used to shopping around for our car and home insurance, even if we just call our current company to check they’re giving us the best rate. We need to get into the habit of doing this for our energy too. There are now 46 energy suppliers in the UK so it is highly competitive and switching can be done on the internet, over the phone and even by post. All our energy comes from the same places and through the same pipes and wires so it seems silly to pay more for it, just to have a certain logo on your bill.”
Who will be our 200th client??? Pop along to one of our drop in sessions and it could be you!