Training for community groups

Our training for community groups empowers them to pursue community-owned renewable energy projects, local energy efficiency initiatives and awareness-raising in their community.

CSE has extensive experience in providing sustainable energy training for community groups. We created, developed and ran the national Green Communities programme on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust (2001-10) and currently deliver community support through our PlanLoCaL, Renewable Energy in the Levels and Moors and Bristol Community Energy programmes.

CSE seeks funding to provide free or discounted support to community groups where possible, but will often need to charge for bespoke support.

We offer both introductory and advanced training for community groups interested in running a sustainable energy project to help turn their ideas into reality. We run full-day and half-day courses covering a range of topics, including:

  • Building local support and engagement in your project
  • Choosing a locally appropriate renewable energy technology, including undertaking basic technical assessments and identifying appropriate sites and resources
  • Energy efficiency for community buildings
  • Using energy monitors
  • Renewable energy and planning policy
  • Considering impacts of your project
  • Budgeting and financing your project
  • Establishing ownership models
  • Managing profits

CSE’s PlanLoCaL programme is pioneering new tools and approaches to engage communities in low carbon planning policy and community-led energy projects. In addition to the topics above, we can also provide training on engaging with the local planning system and in exploring a mixed approach to sustainable energy using the PlanLoCaL model as a learning tool.

CSE can also provide community groups with event support, mentoring and technical feasibility assessments for energy efficiency and renewable energy installations.

A summary of our community support services, including training, can be downloaded here. If you're a member of a local group, please see our communities pages.

Clients and funders of our training for community groups include:

Energy Saving Trust  |  Dept for Communities and Local Government  |  Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action Group  |  Western Power Distribution  |  Bristol City Council  |  East Midlands Councils |  Trafford Hall

The following projects will tell you more:
Renewable Energy in the Levels and Moors
Green Communities
Bristol Community Energy