Local communities will be able to take control of their energy bills and help transform the energy system thanks to proposals
More than 50%of people surveyed by the UK Dept. of Energy ( DECC) said that saving money on bills would be the major motivation for getting involved with community energy schemes, and around 3.5million bill payers are ready to get together with other people in their local community to take more control of their energy.
Meanwhile while four in ten respondents said they were already interested in joining a community energy group, and taking part in collective switching or collective purchasing schemes.
Under the plans Government will broaden the support available for community energy projects, whereby people come together to reduce their energy use or purchase and generate their own energy.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: “We’re at the turning point in developing true community energy. The cost of energy is now a major consideration for household budgets, and I want to encourage groups of people across the country to participate in a community energy movement and take real control of their energy bills.
“Community led action, such as collective switching, gives people the power to bring down bills and encourage competition within the energy market.”
Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker added: “The Community Energy Strategy marks a change in the way we approach powering our homes and businesses – bringing communities together and helping them save money – and make money too.
“The Coalition is determined to unleash this potential, assist communities to achieve their ambitions and drive forward the decentralised energy revolution. We want to help more consumers of energy to become producers of energy and in doing so help to break the grip of the dominant big energy companies.”
Meanwhile, Community Energy Scotland was one of the first to welcome the publication of the UK’s first Community Energy Strategy. Nicholas Gubbins, commented:
‘Although much in the strategy only relates to England and Wales this new strategy is significant because it joins together issues relating to energy generation, supply, demand management and demand reduction – all of which are close to our hearts in Community Energy Scotland.
“Critically for Scotland, it does also set out plans for changes to the Feed in Tariff (not devolved to Scotland) and an intention to address the feasibility of communities supplying electricity locally. It also signals the significance of community engagement in the development local ‘smart grids’ as a means of addressing energy demand reduction.’