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This is the first ever Community Energy Strategy published by a UK government. It sets out the role that communities can play in helping to meet the UK’s energy and climate change challenges, including supporting a sustainable and secure energy system; reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions; and lowering consumer bills.
Community energy covers many different types of community getting involved in different ways to help meet the UK’s energy challenges. The Community Energy Strategy sets out how communities are already coming together to generate electricity and heat, reduce energy use, save money on the energy they buy, and balance supply and demand.
The document brings together existing policies and initiatives with new actions to provide a coherent package of support across the spectrum of community energy. It is accompanied by a short summary document.
The Community Energy call for evidence, which ran for 8 weeks between 6 June and 1 August 2013, helped inform the Strategy’s development and has complemented our own research and analysis on the benefits, barriers and opportunities of community energy. We received a very positive response to the Call for Evidence, with over 300 submissions from a wide range of stakeholders including community energy groups, energy companies, renewables developers, local authorities, third sector organisations and members of public. We’ve also been collaborating closely with other governmental departments and key partners in developing the Strategy, including DECCs Community Energy Contact Group, the Community Energy Coalition and renewable trade associations.
This Call for Evidence will run for 8 weeks between 6 June and 1 August 2013.
In this Call for Evidence, we want to hear from community energy groups and community energy intermediaries (such as membership organisations or those offering support and advice to community energy groups), as well as all others with an interest in community energy, including banks, private equity firms, venture capitalists, infrastructure funds, energy companies (supply, networks and generation), developers, builders, planners, local authorities (including parish councils), other local organisations, health professionals and members of the public.
We would also like to hear from community networks and parts of civic society who have an interest in energy, even if it is just a small part of the organisation’s remit.
Community energy - community projects or initiatives focused on reducing, managing, generating or purchasing energy - is on the rise in the UK and we believe that it has the potential to achieve more in the UK, offering solutions where Government action is not enough.
To help us identify how to unlock the potential of community energy, this Call for Evidence seeks evidence, views and ideas to complement our own analysis and research in the following areas:
- Evidence of the potential benefits of community energy
- Understanding the barriers to community energy
- Identifying innovative approaches and new approaches
This research report supplements the Call for Evidence and provides a synthesis of published research and evidence around community energy in the UK. It summarises the existing evidence about the role and impact of community energy activity in the UK, highlights gaps in the evidence base, and suggests ways they might be filled in the future. This interim report is the output of the first phase of an on-going research project jointly commissioned by DECC and Consumer Futures and carried out by Databuild Research and Development, supported by the Energy Saving Trust