Resources

This is a CSE initiative to share the resources we've found most useful to support communities taking action on energy (it used to be found at cse.org.uk/thesource). You can browse and download for free. Please email communities@cse.org.uk if you think we've missed anything out. 

The fundamentals

Before you start a community energy project we recommend you have a good look at the resources in this section. It contains things which we belive are useful for any kind of community energy project and we recommend that you've considered all of these factors before starting your journey.

The Rough Guide to Community Energy

From the makers of the well-known Rough Guides, this short book explains what community energy is, how to set up your own group, and what kind of projects you might be able to do.

Origin
Rough Guides

Date
2011

Low Carbon Communities Handbook

A comprehensive handbook designed to assist community groups in running projects and engaging the community, with ideas and examples from groups in Oxfordshire, but replicable anywhere.

Origin
CAG Oxfordshire

By
Resource Futures

Date
2013

Identifying and minimising risks

Guidance on risks to be aware of when planning a project, and how to minimise them.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

A step by step guide to Monitoring and Evaluation

This resource was developed to help groups working on community led approaches to climate change and energy conduct their own Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

It aims to provide an accessible background to the principles of M&E, together with selected links to resources and approaches that may be useful for your group.

Origin
University of Oxford

By
Envrionmental Change Institute

Date
2014

Discussing national energy supply and demand

This exercise, which needs to be carried out in the early stages of your project, is to help people gain a better understanding of the UK’s current and future energy needs.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2012

Setting the scene: discussing our community's energy use

This exercise is aimed at helping communities to think about their energy use as well as setting the scene for the development of renewable and/or low-carbon projects.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Managing a community project (video)

A short film to help you to understand that good management is essential to successfully co-ordinating your community project, this film guides you through the process.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Working with volunteers

Your project is very likely to rely upon volunteers - here are some tips about how to make the most of them and keep them on board.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Approaches to community consultation and engagement

Summary of approaches you can use to consult with, engage and inform the people in your community.

This very short summary highlights the many approaches and methods you can use, and signposts to some key resources to help you plan your activities.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

Best practice in community engagement projects

CSE adheres to ten standards of community engagement, and encourages our project partners to commit to these standards on all our projects.

The standards describe what should be done to ensure best practice in community engagement, and the indicators describe how that should be achieved. Taken together, they form a comprehensive checklist for best practice in community engagement.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Behaviour change: theories, approaches and guidance

A very useful (but detailed!) resource to help you understand some of the reasons why people get around to installing energy efficiency measures or not. This should help inform your marketing and community engagement strategies.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

The Uncertainty Handbook

Climate Outreach are the go-to organisation for advice on how to communicate about Climate Change and engage the wider public. This guide gives practical advice on how to spead the message about climate chnage when the future is so uncertain.

Origin
Climate Outreach

Date
2015

Sizzle: the new climate message

A favourite of ours from sustainability communicators Futerra. The guide explains how communicating about the positves of a low-carbon future (the sizzle) is more likely to engage people than spreading a message about climate change doom (the sausage).

Origin
Futerra

Writing a marketing plan

Some tips on how to get the word out about your project in a way that will engage the people you're trying to reach.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Keeping your community group going strong

A short animated film with some tips on how to keep your group active when things get difficult or enthusiasm falters.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Improving your community building

If you own or manage a community building, like a village hall, church, sports club or any other type of community centre, then the resources in this category can provide guidance on how to make the premises as energy efficient as possible.

Case studies

Examples of some energy improvements in community buildings, from simple energy efficiency to renewable installations.

Case study: Heating improvements at Greenway Centre and St Martin's Community Hall

Case studies of two community buildings which have made low cost improvements to their heating systems in order to improve their efficiency and reduce running costs.

Origin
CSE

Date
Sep 2015

Case study: High-performance thermal doors at Dyrham and Hinton village hall

A case study of a community building which has replaced their external doors with more thermally efficient ones in order to improve their efficiency and reduce running costs.

Origin
CSE

Date
Sep 2015

Case study: Secondary glazing at Roll for the Soul and Zion Community Arts Space

Case studies of two community buildings which have had reduced heat losses through their windows by installing secondary glazing in order to improve their efficiency and reduce running costs.

Origin
CSE

Date
Sep 2015

Case study: Lighting upgrades at Trinity Centre and Whisty Community Association

Case studies of two community buildings which have had upgrades to their lighting systems in order to improve their efficiency and reduce running costs.

Origin
CSE

Date
Sep 2015

Solar hot water at a swimming pool in Bovey Tracey, Devon

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how Bovey Climate Action helped a community swimming pool install a solar thermal system for the pool's showers.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

A biomass boiler for a church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how a biomass pellet boiler was installed at St Paul's Church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon, and helped to keep the congregation warm.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

A heat pump for a community building in Woolfardisworthy, Devon

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how a Sports and Community Hall in Devon, installed a ground-source heat pump as their latest renewable project, and helped saved thousands of pounds.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Energy efficiency improvements

When reducing the carbon footprint of a building it makes sense to look at how to make it more energy efficient before considering a renewable energy project. Sometimes the simplest and cheapest improvements can make the biggest impact. Here are our favourite resources to show you how.

Low and zero cost energy improvements to community buildings

This short guide contains tips which could help you reduce the amount of energy used in your community building for little or no cost and cut the amount of money you spend on fuel bills.

Many of these tips will require building users to change their behaviour so you might want to consider putting up signs around the building to reinforce your message. Others require installing small and inexpensive energy efficiency measures – we’d recommend that you shop around for the best deal and follow the installation instructions carefully.

Origin
CSE

Date
Jan 2016

Responsible retrofit of traditional buildings

A report on the existing research and guidance for upgrading traditional buildings with low carbon improvements including some recommendations.

Origin
Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance

Date
2012

Improving energy efficiency in community buildings

Our key guide for community building managers summarising the considerations when looking at improving the efficiency of a community building.

Includes tips on behaviour change, energy improvement measures, energy auditing, funding and key contacts.

Origin
CSE

Date
2012

An energy survey pro-forma

This survey is a comprehensive document to assist you in carrying out an energy audit for a community building.

Origin
CSE

Date
2015

Insulation in more detail

A comprehensive guide comparing different types of insulation - how do they work, what is the installation process like and could you do it yourself?

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Heating and appliances in more detail

A comprehensive guide comparing different types of heating systems - how do they work, what is the installation process like and could you do it yourself?

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Estimating the heat demand of a hypothetical community building

This exercise shows how to estimate the heat demand of a community building, as well as the typical carbon emissions and the costs associated with meeting this.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Permitted developments

Find out when you would need, or wouldn't need, planning permission.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Listed buildings, heritage and landscape (film)

This short film explains how planning applications in heritage settings will have particular local and national rules to follow, and this film will help you understand what may be necessary.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Energy Efficiency and Historic Buildings

How to apply Part L of the building regulations to historic buildings. This means reducing heat losses wherever possible without damaging their special character or compromising their performance.

Origin
Historic England

Date
2012

Responsible Retrofit of Traditional Buildings

A comprehensive guide to the key aspects of the responsible retrofit of traditional buildings. Produced by STBA on behalf of DECC.

Origin
The Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance

Date
Sep 2012

Heritage Energy Efficiency Tool

The Oxford Heritage and Energy Efficiency Tool helps assess energy efficiency improvements for historic buildings.

It was designed for use in Oxford, and contains some local case studies, but it is replicable elsewhere.

Origin
Oxford City Council

Eco Church

An award scheme for churches in England and Wales who want to demonstrate their low carbon credentials. Includes a free online survey and supporting resources all designed to equip your church to express your care for the environment.

There is advice onhow you look after your buildings and land; in how you engage with your local community and in global campaigns, and in the personal lifestyles of your congregation.

Origin
A Rocha

Renewable energy

Community buildings can be the perfect sites for renewable energy projects, reducing running costs and showing an example to the wider community. These resources will help you to plan a project for your venue. If you're looking at a large-scale renewable energy project then also check out the resources under the 'Renewable energy projects' section.

Renewable energy in more detail

Practical guidance if you are thinking of installing a renewable technology as part of a home or in a community building.

This guide compares different types of domestic or micro-scale renewable energy technologies - how they work, what the installation process is like and could you do it yourself?

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Permitted developments

Find out when you would need, or wouldn't need, planning permission.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

How to apply for planning permission

How to apply for planning permission for a renewable energy installation or major retrofit.

By
CSE

Date
2013

Estimating the heat demand of a hypothetical community building

This exercise shows how to estimate the heat demand of a community building, as well as the typical carbon emissions and the costs associated with meeting this.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a heat pump project (video)

A short film giving advice and guidance on setting up a heat-pump project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a biomass boiler project (video)

A short film giving advice and guidance on setting up an individual biomass boiler project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a solar project (video)

A short film explaining the things you'll need to consider if you're thing of setting up a solar power project.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

PV potential estimation utility

This site provides figures for solar PV performance across the whole of Europe, simply enter your location details for an estimation.

Origin
European Commission

Compare My Solar

An independent comparison site for solar PV in the UK. You can search by postcode for an aerial image of your home our building to estimate the roof space available for solar PV. You can then search for local installers.

Solar PV checklist: Questions to ask installers

This set of guidelines are designed to help you ask installers the right questions and understand the answers, and ensure you get the best system for you.

Areas covered in this checklist include finding an installer, components, design, connection, monitoring, and installation.

Origin
CSE

Date
2010

Your new solar PV panels

A factsheet explaining how you can make the most of your solar PV system and reap the benefits by using the energy that you generate.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Here comes the sun: a field trial of solar water heating systems

A study which trials solar water heating systems to provide evidence on how actual systems perform in real homes in the UK. This could help you to determine whether a system would meet your hot water needs in your community building or home.

Origin
Energy Saving Trust

Date
2010

Listed buildings, heritage and landscape (film)

This short film explains how planning applications in heritage settings will have particular local and national rules to follow, and this film will help you understand what may be necessary.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

Feed-in Tariffs

Detailed guidance on the Feed-inTariff from Ofgem, who administer the scheme. The current tariff tables are downloadable from this site.

Origin
Ofgem

Renewable Heat Incentive

Find out more about the RHI for the non-domestic sector from Ofgem, who administer the programme.

Origin
Ofgem

Renewable Heat Incentive calculator

An up-to-date calculator to help you to determine how much money you could earn through the Renewable Heat Incentive if you install a renewable heat technology (such as a biomass boiler or ground source heat pump) in your home or community building.

Origin
Gov.uk

Finding funding

Raising the money you need to make improvements to your building isn't always easy, but we hope these resources will provide some guidance on how to fund the costs.

Funding for energy efficiency improvements in community buildings

Goes through some of the different options you could use to raise funds for a project to upgrade your community building.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Grants and other charitable funding (video)

A short film giving details on how effective fundraising campaigns could be the best way of raising the funds you need through local donations.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Feed-in tariffs and other finance streams (video)

A short film explaining financial incentives, like the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive, which are designed to encourage communities to generate money from renewable energy projects and this film helps you to understand how to take advantage.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

Feed-in Tariffs

Detailed guidance on the Feed-inTariff from Ofgem, who administer the scheme. The current tariff tables are downloadable from this site.

Origin
Ofgem

Renewable Heat Incentive

Find out more about the RHI for the non-domestic sector from Ofgem, who administer the programme.

Origin
Ofgem

Renewable Heat Incentive calculator

An up-to-date calculator to help you to determine how much money you could earn through the Renewable Heat Incentive if you install a renewable heat technology (such as a biomass boiler or ground source heat pump) in your home or community building.

Origin
Gov.uk

Advice on making an application for a community based energy project to Awards for All

Awards for All is a small grant pot for projects in England from Big Lottery. We've produced this guidance to help community groups to apply to get something from the fund.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

UK Community Foundations

Community Foundations can often provide funding to local groups. Find your local community foundation here.

Other sources of help

Here are some links to other organisations and websites which may provide further guidance on making energy improvements to your building.

UK Community Foundations

Community Foundations can often provide funding to local groups. Find your local community foundation here.

CrowdingIn

Find a crowdfunding website that suits your fundraising needs. You can filter by the type of funding you can raise and the sectors platforms specialise in.

Origin
NESTA

Date
2013

Directory of Social Change

A charity with the aim to help other to make positive changes in their communities. Their website hosts a number of helpful resources.

Just Act

A website and online forum set up to help community projects to make things happen in their local area,

Origin
Crowdfunder

Project Dirt

Project Dirt is an active network connecting and resourcing community projects in the UK.

The site uses social media to connect, promote and resource passionate people and their projects. Simply create a profile and upload details of your projects.

Community Energy Hub

The Community Energy Hub aims to provide a single point of access for information on community energy in England, and to enable community energy groups to share information amongst themselves and with other organisations, including potential funders or project partners.

The Hub is a free resource for community energy projects that will be developed on an ongoing basis to expand the amount of information available.

Origin
Community Energy England

Local Energy Scotland

Local Energy Scotland is a charity set up to help Scotland's community energy sector to grow. The website provides guidance, resources and infomration on funding.

Origin
Natural Scotland (Scottish Government)

CAT Information Service

The Centre for Alternative Technology provide information on a huge range of sustainability topics, including home energy conservation, renewable technologies, eco-building, transport and waste.

Origin
Centre for Alternative Technology

Date
2012

CSE Home Energy Advice

The CSE Home Energy Advice site contains advice and information for householders covering a huge range of energy saving improvements and tips on how to reduce energy use and save money.

Householders in Bristol, former Avon and Somerset can also find out about local grant schemes and assistance available to them via CSE's Home Energy Team. Factsheets on a huge range of topics are also downloadable from here.

Origin
CSE

The Planning Portal

The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.

Origin
Planning Portal

Date
2013

Community-wide energy saving projects

If you're hoping to run a project which reduces the carbon footprint of your community as a whole, and helps both local households and local businesses to save energy, then the resources here should help.

Case studies

Some inspiring examples of communities that have run succesful energy projects to give you ideas of what might work for your community.

Green Open Homes case studies

Brief descriptions of the 28 open homes events held across England in 2013-14 and supported by the Green Open Homes network.

Origin
CSE

Date
2014

An introduction to Bristol Green Doors

A short film about how Bristol Green Doors, one of the pioneering Green Open Homes events in the UK, came about.

Origin
Bristol Green Doors

Date
2011

Frome Open Homes 2014

A short film about the Frome Open Homes event which took place in March 2014.

Origin
Frome Renewable Energy Co-op

Date
2014

Tackling the Terrace: an external solid wall insulation project in Bristol

A case study from Bristol Green Doors, explainig how they attempted to fit external solid wall insulation to a row of terraced houses.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Crowborough Pop-up Energy Cafe

Description of how a local community organisation held a drop in cafe in a local neighbourhood to enable residents to learn about cutting their bills while enjoying free tea and cake.

Origin
Communities Matter

Date
Jun 2014

Doing home energy surveys: a case study from West Somerset

A short film showing how to use energy surveys to identify the best low-carbon improvements for homes and other buildings, using a case study from a community group in West Somerset.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN)

WREN is a not-for-profit co-operative, owned and run by its members, working to transform energy from an individual cost to a collective asset.

Origin
RegenSW

Date
2011

OVESCO

A good example of a community group who have set up a succesful ESCO and run a number of community energy projects.

The Ouse Valley Energy Services Company was formed by members of Transition Town Lewes Energy Group. They run a succesful insulation and solar grant scheme, provide energy advice to local households, provide renewable electricty to locals via a bulk purchase scheme, carry out home energy surveys, and investigate and develop large scale community renewable energy schemes in the area. They have two succesful community-owned solar projects funded through a share offer.

Origin
OVESCO Ltd and OVESCO IPS

Rural community wide energy efficiency improvements: Barcombe Energy Group

Barcombe Energy Group helped roll out community-wide energy efficiency improvements in their rural village.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Helping people who are struggling to pay their bills: WISH

Warmer Improved Somerset Homes is an example of a successful fuel poverty advice service that might be replicated in whole or in part by a community group working at a local level.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Running an energy advice centre: Energy Alton

Energy Alton is a community partnership including some 40 local organisations, who have opened an energy advice centre for the community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Home energy assessments: Bedminster Energy Group

Bedminster Energy Group carried out home energy assessments and surveys with householders in their area.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Working with installers and negotiating discounts: Muswell Hill Low-Carbon Buying Group

Muswell Hill Sustainability Group set up a social enterprise to assist its members to purchase energy-efficient condensing boilers, replacement windows and solar systems from reliable installers at lower cost and with longer warranties.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Whole street retrofit: Bristol Green Doors

Bristol Green Doors CIC delivered solid wall insulation to a number of neighbouring properties at the same time.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Working in partnership with a housing association: Thornhill Community Energy Project

Thornhill Community Energy Project is a good example of a community organisation working with a local housing association to reduce fuel poverty and lower energy bills for their residents.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Home energy auditing: Lightfoot Energy Service

How Lightfoot Energy CIC delivers home energy audits to help local people understand how they use energy and identify where they can save money.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Running a community event

Holding an energy event is a great way to educate and inspire local people. From running a stand at a local fayre, to hosting your own Green Open Home event, here's some guidance on how to go about it and how to make your event engaging.

Holding an energy day: guidance

A guide that provides you with a breakdown of the tasks and work that needs to be thought of in advance when planning an energy day.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

Community energy events: Creating your own kit

If you're running an event or a stand at an event, it's a good idea to have accurate, engaging and visually pleasing material to display. This guide recommends how to go about it and where you might source materials.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

CSE event resources

CSE have a range of display models, games and kit that can be loaned out to community groups. Find out what's available in this information sheet.

Origin
CSE

Date
2012

Green Open Homes organisers handbook

The go-to resource covering everything you'll need to consider if you're planning on hosting your own Green Open Homes event.

NB the section mentioning the Green Deal is now out-of-date.

Origin
CSE

Date
2014

Green Open Homes

Green Open Homes is a national network for low carbon open homes events, managed by CSE.

There is currently no funding to keep the network going but the website contains useful resources. Visitors can find out about open homes events in their area, event organisers can upload their own open homes and there's heaps of resources to download to help you to run an event.

Origin
CSE

Running an open homes event

A short film explaining how running an open homes event is a great way to showcase and share energy-saving improvements that people have made in their homes.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Community engagement:developing a strategy

This guidance outlines some important things to consider when planning a community engagement strategy for your project or enterprise.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Event Planner

A template spreadsheet that you can use to make a timetable for an event you are running, particularly useful if you are planning on having lots of speakers and presentations.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Top Energy Savers: game

The aim of the this card game is to educate people about the costs and benefits of different types of energy saving and generating improvements.

You can use this game at a community engagement event or workshop to get people in your community interested. There is a more advanced version of this game available on request, which is more suitable for playing within your group or at a training event for energy advisors.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Giving energy advice

The following resources provide the information you would need in order to give the best energy saving advice to members of your community, and guidance on the kind of projects you could run to get this information out there.

CSE Home Energy Advice

The CSE Home Energy Advice site contains advice and information for householders covering a huge range of energy saving improvements and tips on how to reduce energy use and save money.

Householders in Bristol, former Avon and Somerset can also find out about local grant schemes and assistance available to them via CSE's Home Energy Team. Factsheets on a huge range of topics are also downloadable from here.

Origin
CSE

Using home energy assessments to engage householders

Guidance on how you might choose to engage with local householders by carrying out home energy assessments.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Household energy use questionnaire

This is an example of a survey for assessing household energy use. You can use this if you are doing home energy assessments in your local area.

By
CSE

Date
Mar 2016

Home energy survey report template

If you're using home energy assessments to engage with householders in your area then this template report will be a useful resource to give to households. It includes details on all of the most common improvements that you are likely to recommend from a completed survey.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
Mar 2016

Community Energy Projects in a Box

CSE's communities team has developed the concept of 'community-energy Projects in a Box’ to help community groups run energy-focussed initiatives in their neighbourhood. All the materials and guidance are provided – literally in a box.

Choose between running a draughtproofing workshop, lightbulb swap, energy audit, drop-in advice centre, Green Open Homes events and many more options still to come.

Origin
CSE

Date
2015

Understanding your local area: walkaround exercise

A simple exercise with a checklist style template which you can use to walk around your neighbourhood and identify what types of houses there are in the area.

This exercise makes a good first step in designing any project, from an energy audit project to a solid wall insulation scheme, as you can use the results from this to refine your data gathering activities subsequently.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Insulation in more detail

A comprehensive guide comparing different types of insulation - how do they work, what is the installation process like and could you do it yourself?

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Heating and appliances in more detail

A comprehensive guide comparing different types of heating systems - how do they work, what is the installation process like and could you do it yourself?

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Renewable energy in more detail

Practical guidance if you are thinking of installing a renewable technology as part of a home or in a community building.

This guide compares different types of domestic or micro-scale renewable energy technologies - how they work, what the installation process is like and could you do it yourself?

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Energy efficiency improvements in a home

A short video about how to carry out a DIY home energy efficiency audit, by doing a 'walkaround' in a home.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Providing energy advice in the community

A short film explaining how to get people more aware of energy issues so that they can save money, take action on climate change and stay warm.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Spotting the signs of fuel poverty

A short film about how you might identify a householder in fuel poverty when carrying out a home visist.

A persistently cold home causes misery, ill-health and social exclusion. Today, over 6 million households in the UK can't afford to keep adequately warm in winter, often as a result of poor insulation standards and inefficient heating in their homes.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Understanding SAP ratings

A simple poster explaining what a home's SAP rating means, how it is calculated and it it relates to a household's actual energy consumption.

Origin
CSE

Date
2012

Running a local project to address fuel poverty

We’ve put together this information sheet which summarises some of the methods, tools and resources you can use if you are planning to run a local fuel poverty reduction project.

Origin
CSE

Date
Mar 2016

Love Your Old Home worksbook

A simple guidebook for those who live in traditional homes built before 1919, to help you to understand what kinds of energy saving improvements might be suitable.

Includes a questionnaire to help to determine how sensitively you should treat your home.

Origin
CSE

Date
2014

Warmer Bath

A guide to improving the energy efficiency of traditional homes in the historic city of Bath. It is however more widely relevant and could form the basis of SPD guidance in many historic towns.

Warmer Bath is a 76-page book of practical guidance designed to help improve the energy efficiency of Victorian and Georgian homes in Bath, although many of the lessons and guidance developed are applicable for any cities with historical buildings or a heritage settings.

Origin
CSE

Date
Jun 2011

Running energy saving schemes

You may be thinking about working directly with providers or installers to deliver energy saving improvements to local people, for example through a bulk-buy scheme or retrofit programme. Here's some guidance on how to go about it.

Establishing the right partnerships

An overview of how and why you could set up different types of partnerships between community groups and Local Authorities, social landlords, energy suppliers and local traders.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Understanding your local area: walkaround exercise

A simple exercise with a checklist style template which you can use to walk around your neighbourhood and identify what types of houses there are in the area.

This exercise makes a good first step in designing any project, from an energy audit project to a solid wall insulation scheme, as you can use the results from this to refine your data gathering activities subsequently.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Spotting the signs of fuel poverty

A short film about how you might identify a householder in fuel poverty when carrying out a home visist.

A persistently cold home causes misery, ill-health and social exclusion. Today, over 6 million households in the UK can't afford to keep adequately warm in winter, often as a result of poor insulation standards and inefficient heating in their homes.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Starting a bulk buying scheme

A short film explaining why bulk buying of low-carbon materials like insulation or solar panels might be a good basis for a community energy project.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Working in partnership

Together we're stronger! If you want to make a change in your community, you can go further if you find the right people to work with. This film suggests who to talk to and how to go about it.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Rolling out an area wide retrofit programme

A short film about how making energy efficiency improvements to lots of homes at once can save everyone time and money, and how you could make it happen?

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Running a local project to address fuel poverty

We’ve put together this information sheet which summarises some of the methods, tools and resources you can use if you are planning to run a local fuel poverty reduction project.

Origin
CSE

Date
Mar 2016

Managing your community group

A succesful project needs a strong team of volunteers. Here's some guidance on managing your group and setting up a legal structure should you need to.

Your legal and governance options explained

The Hive is a support programme for co-operative businesses and community enterprises. This page from their site explains in simple terms what your legal and governance options are if you're setting up a new co-operative society.

This is a more concise version of Simply Legal, Co-operatives UK's guide to legal structures (see below). We recommended reading this first to get a good overview and understanding of the options before reading more detail in Simply Legal.

Origin
The Hive

By
Co-operatives UK

Date
Feb 2016

Simply Finance

A comprehensive guide to the different options for financing a community enterprise.

Simply Finance is designed for you if you are involved with a project that wants to be more, or better, than it presently is. In order to best make that leap something extra may well need to be brought in from outside the organisation.

Origin
Co-operatives UK

Date
Jun 2011

Simply Start-Up

A guide for anyone involved in the creation of an enterprise that will be owned by, run by, and supported by the community in which it operates.

The guide uses community food enterprises as examples of what is possible, but the processes and issues can apply to a wide range of community enterprises: from taking over your local shop, starting a community-owned and run newspaper or cinema, to building a community-owned windfarm.

Origin
Co-operatives UK

Date
Nov 2011

Constitutions: Step by step help with writing a constitution

This information sheet will help you to draw up a constitution for a small group such as a Residents’ Association or youth group. It will work well for you if you want a simple, uncomplicated structure to guide your group.

It is not suitable if you are employing workers, buying premises or dealing with large amounts of money.

Origin
Resource Centre

Date
Oct 2014

Managing a community project (video)

A short film to help you to understand that good management is essential to successfully co-ordinating your community project, this film guides you through the process.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Working with volunteers

Your project is very likely to rely upon volunteers - here are some tips about how to make the most of them and keep them on board.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Keeping your community group going strong

A short animated film with some tips on how to keep your group active when things get difficult or enthusiasm falters.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Other sources of help

Here are some links to other organisations and websites which may provide further guidance on running an energy saving project in your community.

CSE Home Energy Advice

The CSE Home Energy Advice site contains advice and information for householders covering a huge range of energy saving improvements and tips on how to reduce energy use and save money.

Householders in Bristol, former Avon and Somerset can also find out about local grant schemes and assistance available to them via CSE's Home Energy Team. Factsheets on a huge range of topics are also downloadable from here.

Origin
CSE

Project Dirt

Project Dirt is an active network connecting and resourcing community projects in the UK.

The site uses social media to connect, promote and resource passionate people and their projects. Simply create a profile and upload details of your projects.

Directory of Social Change

A charity with the aim to help other to make positive changes in their communities. Their website hosts a number of helpful resources.

Magic Map

An interactive map showing various land designations, administrative boundaries and more which may help you when planning developments in your area.

Origin
Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Just Act

A website and online forum set up to help community projects to make things happen in their local area,

Origin
Crowdfunder

Community Energy Hub

The Community Energy Hub aims to provide a single point of access for information on community energy in England, and to enable community energy groups to share information amongst themselves and with other organisations, including potential funders or project partners.

The Hub is a free resource for community energy projects that will be developed on an ongoing basis to expand the amount of information available.

Origin
Community Energy England

Local Energy Scotland

Local Energy Scotland is a charity set up to help Scotland's community energy sector to grow. The website provides guidance, resources and infomration on funding.

Origin
Natural Scotland (Scottish Government)

CAT Information Service

The Centre for Alternative Technology provide information on a huge range of sustainability topics, including home energy conservation, renewable technologies, eco-building, transport and waste.

Origin
Centre for Alternative Technology

Date
2012

UK Community Foundations

Community Foundations can often provide funding to local groups. Find your local community foundation here.

CrowdingIn

Find a crowdfunding website that suits your fundraising needs. You can filter by the type of funding you can raise and the sectors platforms specialise in.

Origin
NESTA

Date
2013

Climate Just

An online tool designed to demonstrate which people and places are most vulnerable to climate change and its impacts in order to support local action.

Origin
Climate UK

Neighbourhood and low carbon planning

Getting to grips with your local planning system and developing your own neighbourhood plan is a key way to ensure that low carbon development is accounted for in your local area. The resources in this section give guidance on how to go about it.

Sources of information

The following resources all provide further guidance on neighbourhood planning, how to do-it, and other ways of engaging with the planning system. There's a lot to read, but once you've done so you'll be much more clued up.

Low Carbon Neighbourhood Planning - a guidebook

Our own guidebook providing all the information you need if you're thinking of integrating low carbon objectives into your neighbourhood plan.

CSE can give support to neighbourhood planning groups who are keen to integrate climate change and fuel poverty objectives into their neighbourhood plans. Help can also be given to groups who are looking to use other parts of the Localism Act, such as Neighbourhood Development Orders or Right to Build, to pursue low-carbon and broader sustainability objectives.

Origin
CSE

Date
Sep 2015

Statutory planning (video)

A short film giving a basic introduction to the national system of planning: what can be built and where.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Community led planning for a low carbon future (video)

A short film explaining how members of local communities are the best people to identify the priorities for their own future.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Quick Guide to Neighbourhood Planning

This guide summarises the process of putting together a neighbourhood development plan, with suggestions for best practice.

Origin
Urban Vision

Date
Mar 2012

Permitted developments

Find out when you would need, or wouldn't need, planning permission.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

The local plan and engaging with your local council

Find out how to speak to the right people at your local council, and how the planning process works.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

How to respond to planning applications

A useful booklet detailing how to have your say on local planning applications to influence decisions for the good of your local area.

Planning permission is necessary for all significant (non-permitted) developments in United Kingdom. Members of the public have the right to examine and comment on planning application as they are submitted to the local planning authority, providing an opportunity for planning decisions to reflect the needs of the local community. This guide will help you find out more about the planning applications in your area and show you how to effectively support, oppose or influence planned development.

Origin
CPRE

Date
Sep 2011

National Planning Policy Guidance

The National Planning Policy Framework was simplified in 2012 and the details are now contained within one document, downloadable via this link.

Guidance is available alongside it, which is updated regularly, so you can navigate to the topic you're interested in.

Origin
Department of Communities and Local Government

Date
Mar 2012

Heritage and protected areas

Areas with heritage or environmental value need a bit of special treatment when it comes to planning new development. These resources will help you to understand how to consider sensitivity to landscape and heritage value in your neighbourhood plan.

Discussing how we value our landscape

A short exercise aiming to get people thinking about their relationship with the natural and built environment that surrounds them.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Permitted developments

Find out when you would need, or wouldn't need, planning permission.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Listed buildings, heritage and landscape (film)

This short film explains how planning applications in heritage settings will have particular local and national rules to follow, and this film will help you understand what may be necessary.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Responsible Retrofit of Traditional Buildings

A comprehensive guide to the key aspects of the responsible retrofit of traditional buildings. Produced by STBA on behalf of DECC.

Origin
The Sustainable Traditional Buildings Alliance

Date
Sep 2012

Warmer Bath

A guide to improving the energy efficiency of traditional homes in the historic city of Bath. It is however more widely relevant and could form the basis of SPD guidance in many historic towns.

Warmer Bath is a 76-page book of practical guidance designed to help improve the energy efficiency of Victorian and Georgian homes in Bath, although many of the lessons and guidance developed are applicable for any cities with historical buildings or a heritage settings.

Origin
CSE

Date
Jun 2011

Magic Map

An interactive map showing various land designations, administrative boundaries and more which may help you when planning developments in your area.

Origin
Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Involving the community

You'll need to get a good cross-section of your community and relevant stakeholders involved in order to put a neighbourhood plan in place. Here's some tips on how to do it.

Best practice in community engagement projects

CSE adheres to ten standards of community engagement, and encourages our project partners to commit to these standards on all our projects.

The standards describe what should be done to ensure best practice in community engagement, and the indicators describe how that should be achieved. Taken together, they form a comprehensive checklist for best practice in community engagement.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Approaches to community consultation and engagement

Summary of approaches you can use to consult with, engage and inform the people in your community.

This very short summary highlights the many approaches and methods you can use, and signposts to some key resources to help you plan your activities.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

Community engagement:developing a strategy

This guidance outlines some important things to consider when planning a community engagement strategy for your project or enterprise.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Other sources of help

Further guidance and useful websites that will help you to understand neighbourhood planning.

Forum for Neighbourhood Planning

A website designed to help those who plan to create a neighbourhood plan to shape their local area.

Origin
Planning Aid

Community Energy Hub

The Community Energy Hub aims to provide a single point of access for information on community energy in England, and to enable community energy groups to share information amongst themselves and with other organisations, including potential funders or project partners.

The Hub is a free resource for community energy projects that will be developed on an ongoing basis to expand the amount of information available.

Origin
Community Energy England

Planning Help

This website is aimed at helping you to influence the decisions that shape where you live.

National and local planning work together to make sure that development is good for people and the environment, and this website helps you to play your part, and make your voice heard.

Origin
Campaign to Protect Rural England

The Planning Portal

The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.

Origin
Planning Portal

Date
2013

Just Act

A website and online forum set up to help community projects to make things happen in their local area,

Origin
Crowdfunder

Climate Just

An online tool designed to demonstrate which people and places are most vulnerable to climate change and its impacts in order to support local action.

Origin
Climate UK

Directory of Social Change

A charity with the aim to help other to make positive changes in their communities. Their website hosts a number of helpful resources.

Renewable energy projects

Setting up a community owned renewable energy scheme is no small undertaking, but the resources on these pages aim to help you through the process from start to finish.

Case studies

Examples of some of the best practice for community renewable energy projects in the UK, covering all of the techologies.

How community projects came about: an introduction to the PlanLoCaL case studies

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how a series of communities and groups from across the UK decided upon their renewable energy project, and the reasons behind it.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2010

A heat pump for a community building in Woolfardisworthy, Devon

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how a Sports and Community Hall in Devon, installed a ground-source heat pump as their latest renewable project, and helped saved thousands of pounds.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

A community hydro-electric scheme for Settle, North Yorks

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how a group in Settle, North Yorkshire, set up a hydro-electric project to generate renewable energy -- and how that's now generating profits for the community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

A community-owned wind turbine in Hockerton, Notts

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how the people of a Nottinghamshire village bought and installed a 225kw wind turbine, with feed-in tariff profits benefitting shareholders and paying for projects to benefit the local community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Biomass district heating on a Barnsley estate

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how Barnsley council converted coal boilers in two blocks of flats into a biomass district heating system and how they manage it.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Biomass district heating for a small community in Sussex

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how the residents of a small rural community in Sussex installed a woodchip-fired district-heating system -- and how the local foresters provided the fuel.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

A biomass boiler for a church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how a biomass pellet boiler was installed at St Paul's Church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon, and helped to keep the congregation warm.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Solar hot water at a swimming pool in Bovey Tracey, Devon

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how Bovey Climate Action helped a community swimming pool install a solar thermal system for the pool's showers.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Solar PV in West Oxford

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how West Oxford Community Renewables installed 550 solar PV panels on the roofs of a local school and benefit from the feed-in tariff.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

A woodfuel project for Spaunton and Appleton-le-Moors

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how residents of two villages in the North York Moors have entered into partnership with a local landowner to manage a woodland for woodfuel.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

An anaerobic digester in Silloth, Cumbria

A case study from CSE's PlanLoCaL project that tells how farmers in Cumbria have joined together to develop plans for an anaerobic digester plant, which will save them money and potentially provide heat.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Local Energy Scotland: Case studies

Detailed information on a number of renewable energy projects in Scotland, some commercial, some community owned and some joint ventures.

By
Local Energy Scotland

Date
2014

Co-operative renewable energy in the UK: A guide to this growing sector

This report summarises insights gained from visits to five co-operatively owned energy projects during the summer of 2011.

Co-operatively owned energy generation is a vibrant and growing sector in the UK. The first co‑operatively owned wind turbines, Baywind in Cumbria, started turning in 1997. Since then, over 7,000 individual investors have ploughed over £16 million into community-owned wind turbines.

Origin
Co-operatives UK

By
Rebecca Willis and Jenny Willis

Date
2012

OVESCO

A good example of a community group who have set up a succesful ESCO and run a number of community energy projects.

The Ouse Valley Energy Services Company was formed by members of Transition Town Lewes Energy Group. They run a succesful insulation and solar grant scheme, provide energy advice to local households, provide renewable electricty to locals via a bulk purchase scheme, carry out home energy surveys, and investigate and develop large scale community renewable energy schemes in the area. They have two succesful community-owned solar projects funded through a share offer.

Origin
OVESCO Ltd and OVESCO IPS

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN)

WREN is a not-for-profit co-operative, owned and run by its members, working to transform energy from an individual cost to a collective asset.

Origin
RegenSW

Date
2011

Chase Community Solar: A Community Shares Case Study

A Community Shares Unit film about Chase Community Solar and its pioneering partnership with Cannock Council, which aims to reduce energy bills and tackle fuel poverty in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.

Origin
Community Shares

Date
2015

Solar

The best tools, advice and information you'll need in order to set up a solar PV or solar thermal project.

Solar power: an introduction (video)

A short film explaining how solar energy can be used to heat water (solar-thermal) or generate electricity (solar-PV), and where they can be used.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a solar project (video)

A short film explaining the things you'll need to consider if you're thing of setting up a solar power project.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

PV potential estimation utility

This site provides figures for solar PV performance across the whole of Europe, simply enter your location details for an estimation.

Origin
European Commission

Compare My Solar

An independent comparison site for solar PV in the UK. You can search by postcode for an aerial image of your home our building to estimate the roof space available for solar PV. You can then search for local installers.

Solar PV checklist: Questions to ask installers

This set of guidelines are designed to help you ask installers the right questions and understand the answers, and ensure you get the best system for you.

Areas covered in this checklist include finding an installer, components, design, connection, monitoring, and installation.

Origin
CSE

Date
2010

Here comes the sun: a field trial of solar water heating systems

A study which trials solar water heating systems to provide evidence on how actual systems perform in real homes in the UK. This could help you to determine whether a system would meet your hot water needs in your community building or home.

Origin
Energy Saving Trust

Date
2010

CARES Renewable Energy Handbook

A really helpful guide on renewable energy technologies introducing the aspects and issues involved with each. Designed to go alongside Scotland's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) but much of the information is relevant all over the UK.

CARES can also offer grants towards community renewable installations. Contact Local Energy Scotland for more information.

Origin
Local Energy Scotland

Date
Jul 2013

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

Wind

The best tools, advice and information you'll need in order to develop your own wind energy project.

Wind power: an introduction (video)

A short film about how different types of wind turbine convert wind energy to electricity, and where are the most suitable places to site them.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Common Concerns About Wind Power - 2nd edition

Evidence-based analysis drawing on peer-reviewed and publicly funded studies.

Chapter 1: Wind turbines and energy payback times Chapter 2: Materials consumption and life cycle impacts of wind turbines Chapter 3: Wind power costs and subsidies Chapter 4: Efficiency and capacity factors of wind turbines Chapter 5: Intermittency of wind turbines Chapter 6: Offshore wind turbines Chapter 7: Wind power and nuclear power Chapter 8: Public acceptance and community engagement Chapter 9: Wind turbines and property prices Chapter 10: Siting wind turbines on ecologically sensitive land Chapter 11: What effect do wind turbines have on wildlife? Chapter 12: Wind turbines and safety Chapter 13: Shadow flicker and epilepsy risk Chapter 14: Wind turbines and noise Chapter 15: Infrasound, 'wind turbine syndrome' and other health concerns Chapter 16: Wind turbines and radar

Date
Jun 2017

Thinking about a community wind turbine (video)

Advice and guidance on setting up a medium or large-scale wind project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

NOABL Wind Map

A map, searchable by postcode, giving approximate wind speeds per square kilometre at 10m, 25m and 45m.

Origin
RenSMART

Windspeed Database

This wind speed database gives estimates of the annual mean wind speed throughout the UK based on 1km grid squares. Simply search using the grid reference for your chosen location (you can also look up covert postcodes to grid references here).

Origin
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Common concerns about wind power

Evidence-based analysis that draws on peer-reviewed academic research and publicly funded studies to address issues such as bird-strike, shadow flicker, noise, impact on property prices and ‘wind turbine syndrome’.

Origin
CSE

Date
May 2011

CARES Renewable Energy Handbook

A really helpful guide on renewable energy technologies introducing the aspects and issues involved with each. Designed to go alongside Scotland's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) but much of the information is relevant all over the UK.

CARES can also offer grants towards community renewable installations. Contact Local Energy Scotland for more information.

Origin
Local Energy Scotland

Date
Jul 2013

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

Hydro

The best tools, advice and information you'll need in order to set up a hydropwer project in your local community.

Hydro power: an introduction (video)

A short film explaining how hydro-electric systems transfer the energy of moving water into electricity, and what kind of river makes a good hydro site.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a hydro power project (video)

A short film giving advice and guidance on setting up a hydro power project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Hydropower: A guide for you and your community

This definitive guide from the Environment Agency is aimed at helping communities think through the issues associated with developing a hydropower scheme in England and Wales.

It gives details on the consents and permissions needed and includes some case studies.

Origin
Environment Agency

Date
2013

New hydropower scheme: guidance on how to build one

An offical guide to the licences and permits you need, the documents you must prepare, and how to apply to build a hydropower scheme.

Origin
Environment Agency

Date
Mar 2016

Calculation of Hydro Power

A straightforward hydro power calculator based on the head and flow of a river.

Origin
REUK

CARES Renewable Energy Handbook

A really helpful guide on renewable energy technologies introducing the aspects and issues involved with each. Designed to go alongside Scotland's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) but much of the information is relevant all over the UK.

CARES can also offer grants towards community renewable installations. Contact Local Energy Scotland for more information.

Origin
Local Energy Scotland

Date
Jul 2013

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

Biomass

The best tools, advice and information you'll need in order to develop a biomass project, from an individual boiler to a district heating system.

Biomass: an introduction (video)

A short video giving information on how biomass fuels can be used to heat homes and generate energy, and which biomass systems are suitable for smaller-scale community projects.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a biomass boiler project (video)

A short film giving advice and guidance on setting up an individual biomass boiler project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a biomass district heating project (video)

A video giving advice and guidance on setting up a biomass district heating project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a biomass woodland management project (video)

A short film giving advice and guidance on setting up a biomass woodland management project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Biomass heating: tools and guidance

Useful tools and guidnace from the Carbon Trust for anyone looking into installing biomass boilers and biomass heating.

Origin
Carbon Trust

Identifying and assessing a potential district heating area using the National Heat Map

An exercise to help you to gain a better understanding of the heat demand of your area by using the National Heat Map, and so identify and assess a suitable site for a potential district heating scheme.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2012

Assessing the heat demand of a whole community for biomass district heating potential

This exercise shows how to estimate the heat demand of a community in a defined area, and assess this potential for biomass heating.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

Estimating the heat demand of a hypothetical community building

This exercise shows how to estimate the heat demand of a community building, as well as the typical carbon emissions and the costs associated with meeting this.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

CARES Renewable Energy Handbook

A really helpful guide on renewable energy technologies introducing the aspects and issues involved with each. Designed to go alongside Scotland's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) but much of the information is relevant all over the UK.

CARES can also offer grants towards community renewable installations. Contact Local Energy Scotland for more information.

Origin
Local Energy Scotland

Date
Jul 2013

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

Heat pumps

The best tools, advice and information you'll need in order to install air source, ground source or water source heat pumps in your community.

Heat pumps: an introduction (video)

A short video guide on how the three types of heat pumps (ground-source, air-source and water-source) work, and where is best to locate them.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Considering a heat pump project (video)

A short film giving advice and guidance on setting up a heat-pump project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Identifying and assessing a potential district heating area using the National Heat Map

An exercise to help you to gain a better understanding of the heat demand of your area by using the National Heat Map, and so identify and assess a suitable site for a potential district heating scheme.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2012

Estimating the heat demand of a hypothetical community building

This exercise shows how to estimate the heat demand of a community building, as well as the typical carbon emissions and the costs associated with meeting this.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

CARES Renewable Energy Handbook

A really helpful guide on renewable energy technologies introducing the aspects and issues involved with each. Designed to go alongside Scotland's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) but much of the information is relevant all over the UK.

CARES can also offer grants towards community renewable installations. Contact Local Energy Scotland for more information.

Origin
Local Energy Scotland

Date
Jul 2013

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

Anaerobic Digestion

The best tools, advice and information you'll need in order to set up a project using energy from waste.

Considering an anaerobic digester (video)

A short film giving advice and guidance on setting up an anaerobic digestion project in your community.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Energy from waste: an introduction (transcript)

A transcript for the above film.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Energy from waste: an introduction (video)

A short film explaining how renewable energy can be generated from the contents of our wheelie bins, catering waste, farmyard slurry or sewage.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Biogas map

This Official Biogas Map shows all operational anaerobic digestion plants in the UK (excluding water treatment facilities).

Origin
Biogas info

Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association

ADBA is the go-to organisation for information and resources if you're thinking about starting your own AD scheme.

Identifying and assessing a potential district heating area using the National Heat Map

An exercise to help you to gain a better understanding of the heat demand of your area by using the National Heat Map, and so identify and assess a suitable site for a potential district heating scheme.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2012

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

Planning and permissions

All you need to know about planning policy and the permissions you'll need for your renewable energy project to get the go-ahead.

Permits, permissions and planning (video)

A short video with examples of the kinds of permits and permissions required for different renewable energy projects. Explains how planning permission for a community-based renewable-energy project can take time, require effort and cost money.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Engaging with your local council (video)

A short film explaining that to move your renewable energy project forward you'll have to develop a good relationship with a range of officers at your local council.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Getting planning permission (video)

To short film to help you to understand and navigate the process of getting planning permission for your renewable energy project.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Listed buildings, heritage and landscape (film)

This short film explains how planning applications in heritage settings will have particular local and national rules to follow, and this film will help you understand what may be necessary.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Community led planning for a low carbon future (video)

A short film explaining how members of local communities are the best people to identify the priorities for their own future.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Statutory planning (video)

A short film giving a basic introduction to the national system of planning: what can be built and where.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

How to apply for planning permission

How to apply for planning permission for a renewable energy installation or major retrofit.

By
CSE

Date
2013

Permitted developments

Find out when you would need, or wouldn't need, planning permission.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

The Planning Portal

The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.

Origin
Planning Portal

Date
2013

Planning Help

This website is aimed at helping you to influence the decisions that shape where you live.

National and local planning work together to make sure that development is good for people and the environment, and this website helps you to play your part, and make your voice heard.

Origin
Campaign to Protect Rural England

National Planning Policy Guidance

The National Planning Policy Framework was simplified in 2012 and the details are now contained within one document, downloadable via this link.

Guidance is available alongside it, which is updated regularly, so you can navigate to the topic you're interested in.

Origin
Department of Communities and Local Government

Date
Mar 2012

Magic Map

An interactive map showing various land designations, administrative boundaries and more which may help you when planning developments in your area.

Origin
Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Management and legal issues

To own a renewable energy installation your organisation will need a legal structure. Here's some guidance on how to find the best set-up for your group and how to manage your project.

Different legal structures work for different groups (video)

A video showing how different legally recognised structures work for different types of community groups, using real examples to help you to determine which one works best for yours.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Your legal and governance options explained

The Hive is a support programme for co-operative businesses and community enterprises. This page from their site explains in simple terms what your legal and governance options are if you're setting up a new co-operative society.

This is a more concise version of Simply Legal, Co-operatives UK's guide to legal structures (see below). We recommended reading this first to get a good overview and understanding of the options before reading more detail in Simply Legal.

Origin
The Hive

By
Co-operatives UK

Date
Feb 2016

Select-a-structure tool

Designed to give organisations an overview of the different types of legal structures and operational types they could choose, and by answering a series of questions suggests what might be most suitable for them.

Origin
Co-operatives UK

Constitutions: Step by step help with writing a constitution

This information sheet will help you to draw up a constitution for a small group such as a Residents’ Association or youth group. It will work well for you if you want a simple, uncomplicated structure to guide your group.

It is not suitable if you are employing workers, buying premises or dealing with large amounts of money.

Origin
Resource Centre

Date
Oct 2014

Simply Finance

A comprehensive guide to the different options for financing a community enterprise.

Simply Finance is designed for you if you are involved with a project that wants to be more, or better, than it presently is. In order to best make that leap something extra may well need to be brought in from outside the organisation.

Origin
Co-operatives UK

Date
Jun 2011

Simply Start-Up

A guide for anyone involved in the creation of an enterprise that will be owned by, run by, and supported by the community in which it operates.

The guide uses community food enterprises as examples of what is possible, but the processes and issues can apply to a wide range of community enterprises: from taking over your local shop, starting a community-owned and run newspaper or cinema, to building a community-owned windfarm.

Origin
Co-operatives UK

Date
Nov 2011

Working with volunteers

Your project is very likely to rely upon volunteers - here are some tips about how to make the most of them and keep them on board.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Managing a community project (video)

A short film to help you to understand that good management is essential to successfully co-ordinating your community project, this film guides you through the process.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Handy Tips for Community Renewable Energy Groups

Naturesave's Handy Tips for Community Renewable Energy Groups is designed to help you make sense of all the insurance requirements during each stage of your renewable energy project.

Naturesave are also able to offer advice on insurance to community renewable energy groups.

Origin
Naturesave Insurance

Grid Connections and DNO guide

How to find out who your Distribution Network Operator is if you need to negotitae a grid connection for your renewable energy project.

Origin
CSE

Date
2015

Consulting and involving the community

Behind every successful community renewable energy project is an inclusive programme of communication, engagement and consultation. The resources in this section will help you understand how community consultation works, the different methods for engagement, and tips for ensuring your community is with you.

Consulting with the community: a cautionary tale

How things can go badly wrong if you don't listen to the views of your community and others around you -- this film shows what happens when you consult too late.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Discussing how we value our landscape

A short exercise aiming to get people thinking about their relationship with the natural and built environment that surrounds them.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Sizzle: the new climate message

A favourite of ours from sustainability communicators Futerra. The guide explains how communicating about the positves of a low-carbon future (the sizzle) is more likely to engage people than spreading a message about climate change doom (the sausage).

Origin
Futerra

Best practice in community engagement projects

CSE adheres to ten standards of community engagement, and encourages our project partners to commit to these standards on all our projects.

The standards describe what should be done to ensure best practice in community engagement, and the indicators describe how that should be achieved. Taken together, they form a comprehensive checklist for best practice in community engagement.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Running a community consultation (video)

A short film explaining how consulting meaningfully with the local community is a critical step in a successful renewable energy project.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Approaches to community consultation and engagement

Summary of approaches you can use to consult with, engage and inform the people in your community.

This very short summary highlights the many approaches and methods you can use, and signposts to some key resources to help you plan your activities.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

Community engagement:developing a strategy

This guidance outlines some important things to consider when planning a community engagement strategy for your project or enterprise.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Event Planner

A template spreadsheet that you can use to make a timetable for an event you are running, particularly useful if you are planning on having lots of speakers and presentations.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Funding and financing

The resources in this section will help you to understand how you might fund the development and installation of your project, as well as how you might consider reinvesting any profit made.

Project finance (video)

A short film detailing how to secure funding for your sustainable energy project.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Funding your project through a share issue (video)

A short film explaining how to raise the cash for your renewable energy project by inviting people to become shareholders.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Traditional bank finance (video)

A short film telling you how to go about borrowing from a bank and establishing a repayment plan, particularly for larger renewable energy projects.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Grants and other charitable funding (video)

A short film giving details on how effective fundraising campaigns could be the best way of raising the funds you need through local donations.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

How Triodos Bank funds community projects (video)

How Triodos Renewables, an arm of Triodos Bank that specialises in the funding of renewable energy projects, can help your project.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Funding and income streams (video)

A short film showing how other community-based renewable energy projects have accessed the funding and income to turn their proposals into reality.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Feed-in tariffs and other finance streams (video)

A short film explaining financial incentives, like the Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive, which are designed to encourage communities to generate money from renewable energy projects and this film helps you to understand how to take advantage.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

The Community Shares Handbook

This Handbook sets out guidance for societies and practitioners who provide advice on community shares, a term used to describe the withdrawable share capital of co-operative and community benefit societies.

Origin
Community Shares

Date
Apr 2016

CrowdingIn

Find a crowdfunding website that suits your fundraising needs. You can filter by the type of funding you can raise and the sectors platforms specialise in.

Origin
NESTA

Date
2013

Rural Community Energy Fund

The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), is a £15 million programme to support rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.

RCEF is jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS).

Origin
WRAP

CARES Renewable Energy Handbook

A really helpful guide on renewable energy technologies introducing the aspects and issues involved with each. Designed to go alongside Scotland's Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) but much of the information is relevant all over the UK.

CARES can also offer grants towards community renewable installations. Contact Local Energy Scotland for more information.

Origin
Local Energy Scotland

Date
Jul 2013

Renewable Heat Incentive

Find out more about the RHI for the non-domestic sector from Ofgem, who administer the programme.

Origin
Ofgem

Feed-in Tariffs

Detailed guidance on the Feed-inTariff from Ofgem, who administer the scheme. The current tariff tables are downloadable from this site.

Origin
Ofgem

Renewable Heat Incentive calculator

An up-to-date calculator to help you to determine how much money you could earn through the Renewable Heat Incentive if you install a renewable heat technology (such as a biomass boiler or ground source heat pump) in your home or community building.

Origin
Gov.uk

Savings, profits and reinvestments (video)

A short film with detals of how sustainable communities fortunate enough to have generated an income stream from their renewable energy project have re-invested profits for the future.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2011

Re-investing your income (video)

A short film focused on how a community group can reinvest any income from their sustainable energy projects for future projects.

Origin
CSE

Date
2011

Other sources of help

The following organisations and websites can provide additional guidance to help your project on it's way.

Local Energy Scotland

Local Energy Scotland is a charity set up to help Scotland's community energy sector to grow. The website provides guidance, resources and infomration on funding.

Origin
Natural Scotland (Scottish Government)

Community Energy Hub

The Community Energy Hub aims to provide a single point of access for information on community energy in England, and to enable community energy groups to share information amongst themselves and with other organisations, including potential funders or project partners.

The Hub is a free resource for community energy projects that will be developed on an ongoing basis to expand the amount of information available.

Origin
Community Energy England

The Microgeneration Certification Scheme

Use this website to search a comprehensive database of certified renewable energy installers across the UK.

This website is essential for any group intending to commence on an energy project and hope to benefit from the feed-in tariff or the renewable heat incentive.

RenewableUK

The UK's not-for-profit renewable energy trade association. A good port of call for statistics and information, particularly on the wind and tidal energy industries.

CAT Information Service

The Centre for Alternative Technology provide information on a huge range of sustainability topics, including home energy conservation, renewable technologies, eco-building, transport and waste.

Origin
Centre for Alternative Technology

Date
2012

Further reading

Resources from planlocal.org.uk - CSE's community energy website that will be taken off line in 2018

Renewable energy: Technical potential and evidence

Making renewable energy work locally

By
Centre for Sustainable Energy

Date
May 2013

Resources for schools and educators

Here are some of our favourite tools, activities and guides to engage children and young adults on energy and climate change.

For younger children

Games and hands-on activities that younger children will enjoy, all with an energy saving theme.

Energy: Let's save it

A family is carelessly and unknowingly wasting energy from the moment they wake up. Until something unexpected happens... This film explains to chikdren why saving energy is important.

Origin
European Commission

Date
2008

How to make a draught-excluding snake

Practical guidance on how to make your own home draught excluders.

Origin
CSE

Date
2012

Solar powered boats/spinning plates

An exercise teaching kids about energy and renewable sources of electricity by building a solar powered boat or spinning plate.

Can be used by teachers, or other adults leading an energy saving workshop or an event.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Activities for children: Colouring

A set of three colouring in sheets with an energy saving message.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Activities for children: Posters

A set of 10 posters showing fun facts and pictures to do with energy. Great for displaying at a public event or in schools.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

Activities for children: Puzzles

A set of puzzles, including word games, a maze and a simple energy checklist.

Origin
CSE

Date
2013

For older children

Lesson plans, websites and tools that will help older children to get to grips with climate change and energy issues.

Bright Green Future

A Big Lottery Funded programme for those aged 15-19 to get involved in energy and sustainaibilty in their local area, and to find out how to become future environmental leaders.

Origin
CSE

Date
2016

Renewables in the Rural Landscape

A series of lesson plans aimed at 6th form students, designed to provide an overview of renewable energy technologies.

This resource pack is split into 4 lessons providing a discussion over why renewable energy is important, and the opportunity for pupils to consider and debate the issues around the siting of these technologies in the countryside.

Origin
CSE and Ernest Cook Trust

Date
Feb 2014

Tackling the Energy Challenge Together Toolkit

Through the SEACS project, a number of resources have been developed to help schools to work effectively on energy conservation by raising awareness and taking appropriate targeted action.

These resources can all be found within this Schools Toolkit. A number were developed by CSE - including Science, French and PHSE lessons, and extra-curricular activities.

Origin
SEACS

My2050 Schools Toolkit

My2050 is a tool designed to make young people think about our future energy use in order to meet 2050 targets. This toolkit uses My2050 as the basis of lessons for KS3 and KS4.

Origin
UK Government

Date
2013

2020 Energy: A serious game about energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development

This game aims to stimulate behavioural change and promote innovative pratices among those aged 14-18 years old.

Origin
European Commission

CAT Education Resources

A range of games and tools to get young people interested in sustainability.

Origin
Centre for Alternative Technology

Top Energy Savers: game

The aim of the this card game is to educate people about the costs and benefits of different types of energy saving and generating improvements.

You can use this game at a community engagement event or workshop to get people in your community interested. There is a more advanced version of this game available on request, which is more suitable for playing within your group or at a training event for energy advisors.

Origin
CSE (PlanLoCaL)

Date
2013

Every Action Counts: Decider game

A simple game to help children to work out what actions to prioritise in school in order to try and reduce energy consumption.

There are also downloadable versions for community groups and offices from www.e-c-a.ac.uk/every-action-counts-community-pack.

Origin
Educational Centres Association

By
CSE