Free cost-of-living support and advice for community businesses
It’s challenging running a community business at the best of times. But for many, the increasing cost of energy combined with the cost of living crisis is making it even harder.
As part of the Resilient Communities Fund, CSE has joined up with Power to Change to offer bespoke advice and support to help your community business.
We’ll support you to:
- Navigate the cost of living and energy crises
- Build your resilience
- And strengthen local communities in the shift to a fairer, greener future.
Power to Change grantees can book sessions for tailored support from CSE’s broad range of experts. This includes advice about retrofit, energy-efficiency measures, fuel poverty, community action, engagement and building long-term resilience in the energy market.
CSE will also host a series of online resources and monthly webinars, available to anyone working in the wider community business sector.
Resources for communities
We’ve got years of experience working with community businesses to deepen their knowledge of energy efficiency, sustainability and community action.
Check out our resources below. This page will be updated with new resources regularly, so add it to your bookmarks and keep coming back for more!
Energy efficiency and community buildings
- Do a walk-around energy survey of your community building. This easy-to use tool can help you to gain key insights about your building and ideas for improving its energy efficiency.
- Improve the energy efficiency of your community building. This guidance offers practical advice to help you do your walk-around energy survey and take action to improve the efficiency of your building.
- Find funding for your community project or building.
- Explore our Funding Opportunities for Charities and Community Groups spreadsheet.
- Explore appropriate measures for your heritage building. A good start is CSE’s Love your Old Home workbook and the Sustainable Traditional Building Alliance’s guidance wheel.
- Before you install Solar PV panels, take a look at our checklist of questions you should ask installers.
- Watch these videos to understand a bit more about different renewable and low carbon technologies: Heat pumps, Solar power, Biomass, Wind power, Energy from waste.
Here are examples of how community businesses have made energy saving changes:
- The Greenway Centre made heating system improvements.
- The Trinity Centre installed LED lighting.
- Roll for the Soul installed secondary glazing.
- Dyrham and Hinton Village Hall replaced draughty doors.
- Read our comprehensive guide for successful community engagement. Including our top ten tips and fun, interactive ways to get your local community involved in discussions about energy.
- This guide explains how to recruit and manage volunteers for an energy efficiency project.
- Running a draught proofing workshop is a great way to demonstrate the benefits of draught-proofing with your community. You could even show them how to make their own draught proofing snake!
- You might also want to run a slow cooker workshop. Bring people together to have a chat and share food while highlighting the benefits of slow cooking as a way to save energy at home.
- Setting up a community energy advice service will help to make sure people can access support when they need it.
- Interested in holding an energy day in your community to highlight how to save money, reduce energy and become more sustainable? Download our guidance so you know how to organise one.
- Local fuel poverty projects can help spread awareness and offer practical support to those struggling with their energy use and bills. Depending on the needs of your community and available resources, there are many ways you can help. This guide will help you consider what approach is best.
Watch our webinars for community businesses
- Energy efficiency in your community building. This session provides an overview of what to consider to make your building more energy efficient – whether that’s through zero-cost behaviour changes or higher-cost measures like renewable technologies.
- Carrying out a DIY energy survey on your community building. This session provides step-by-step explanation of how to use CSE’s DIY energy survey tool and how to use the results to build an action plan for your building.
- Financing energy efficiency measures in your community building. This session covers how to fund higher cost energy efficiency measures and the installation of renewable or low carbon technologies in your building. You’ll learn practical tips about funding and submitting a grant application.
- Fuel poverty awareness and basic energy advice. This session covers what fuel poverty is and how it’s impacting our communities. We provide guidance for how to identify if someone is in fuel poverty and how you can support them.
- Building community energy resilience: exploring community action on energy. This session explores community-level initiatives for supporting people in your community to act on energy to reduce their carbon emissions and lower their bills. This will help businesses to understand how they can start building longer-term community energy resilience.
- And this webinar from Utility Aid explores the new government Energy Bill Discount Scheme and the support available for charities.
- For Community Energy Fortnight, we hosted a webinar exploring how community businesses and organisations can partner with community energy groups to support your transition to net zero.