Umbrella organisation for community energy support and advice
Community Energy England https://communityenergyengland.org/ is the umbrella organisation for community energy organisations in England. It is a not-for-profit company, with five staff, it is funded through membership fees, event sponsorship and through charitable funding to provide support to groups, and representation and lobbying to government and the regulator. It holds events to help build capacity, disseminates the benefits of community energy to a wide range of stakeholders, helps groups share best practice, understand regulation and has brought in the District Network Operators (energy transmission and supply companies) to innovate with community energy groups. It also has a Community Energy Hub website where case studies can be uploaded to share.
Every year, Community Energy England holds a “Community Energy Fortnight”, where community groups are encouraged to celebrate their projects with events and promotional campaigns, to raise awareness amongst the general public of community energy and the opportunities it presents. CEE holds an annual conference attended by hundreds of community energy practitioners and wider stakeholders.
Effect:
− Bi-weekly newsletter sharing developments in the community energy sector and insights into the current and future policy environment.
− − Annual Sector survey, leading to publication of an annual State of the Sector report used by policy-makers, DNOs, installers, media and the Community Energy sectors itself

Resources needed

- Staff, office; starting small, CEE now has five staff members based in Sheffield
- Funding for staff salaries, travel and communications costs
- Events funding / sponsorship
funding tends to be reliant on subscriptions

Evidence of success

Over 300 members
− Communications and Profile-Raising; Community Energy Fortnight provides events, training, conferences and raises awareness of Community energy.
− Advocacy and Policy – In 2019 CEE appointed a new Policy and Advocacy Manager to work across government, local authorities, the regulator and DNOs

Difficulties encountered

finding and retaining members.
constant policy change in the UK government has meant CEE staff spend a lot of time responding to policy consultations. This restricts the amount of time they can spend on supporting groups.

Potential for learning or transfer

- There is good potential for transfer of a national
Community Energy Sector organisation that can support
sector growth and innovation and be the voice of the CE
sector. Easy to replicate the subscription based membership fund.
- CEE works closely with Community Energy Wales and
Community Energy Scotland, who are organsations with
similar aims, but who each participate in renewable energy
projects.
- CEE started in 2014 with 1 staff members and has over 5
years expanded to five staff members, 11 directors and has
raised the profile of the sector.
- It is a member of RESCOOP

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Project
Main institution
Community Energy England
Location
Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Start Date
January 2014
End Date
Ongoing

Contact

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