I attended workshop today run by Community Energy South – Warmer, cheaper, local Energy. A workshop on how it can be done.
Very briefly, the discussion started with the Big Energy Saving Network and how trained Energy Champions are helping the elderly and vulnerable switch tariffs and get energy saving upgrades to their homes.
Anybody who has not switched energy supplier or tariff within the last two years is paying an average of 20% more than they should. http://www.communityenergysouth.org.uk/energy-bill-checking/
As with many issues, the problem is identifying and contacting those who need the advice. Ideas to overcome this that were suggested are use of existing networks that will have contact with them, such as Carers’ Support and Children’s Centres, and the use of pop-up ‘shops’ and community cafes.
It moved onto the potential for community energy tariffs from which any profit is ploughed back into the community.
The afternoon session covered community owned renewable generation schemes and heat networks.
There is potential for all of the ideas discussed to be developed for Ashford but it will need community interest to drive the ideas forward.
There is information on the Community Energy South website.