The Bridgend County Energy Challenge
Sparking energy action in Bridgend
Project duration: October 2017 ongoing
We’re crossing the Severn Estuary to begin working on a new project with Bridgend County Borough Council to kickstart community energy action in the Bridgend borough area. We’ll be encouraging residents to be part of Bridgend’s transition to a low carbon energy future in a number of ways:
- Attending local community events to get people talking about their energy problems – both individual and in their neighbourhoods.
- Providing a signposting service to help people access domestic energy advice.
- Providing free support to help a community group set up their own energy project and documenting this so that they can share their experiences and achievements with other groups.
We’ll be inviting groups to come forward with their own ideas for a local energy project and apply to the support programme. The successful group will receive assistance from CSE over the next two years to get the project up and running but what form the project takes and how it’s organised will be up to the group itself.
“We want this local energy project to be genuinely empowering – something made by and for the community” said James Watt, CSE’s lead on the project. “At this stage it’s hard to predict what sort of ideas might emerge, but whatever it is, we’ll be supporting the group to get their ideas off the ground.”
Community energy projects can bring clear economic, social and environmental benefits as well as offering the potential to help those living in fuel poverty. However, it can be difficult for local energy projects to get going if volunteers don't feel they have exactly the right skills or knowledge to begin.
That’s why we’ll be helping with:
- Developing a plan, setting out the actions and milestones for the project and agreeing roles.
- Arranging visits to other community energy projects for inspiration and networking.
- Providing relevant support such as resources, equipment, demonstrations, publicity, fundraising, energy advice and technical expertise.
- Running open community meetings to help to engage people living in the community.
The Bridgend Energy Challenge will launch in Spring 2018 with an open call for community support applications and a new website which will host energy saving information as well as sign posting individuals and groups to relevant in-depth support provided by organisations working in the area.
Find out more at the project's website www.bridgendenergy.co.uk