According to DECC, “Smaller energy groups often work in isolation with no formal networks for skills sharing or mentoring with larger more established organisations.”
The chosen projects include a community forum that provides workshops and assistance to generate power using hydro energy; a social enterprise to educate the public on how they can reduce fossil fuel consumption by using sustainable wood sources; training volunteers to audit energy consumption in the homes of elderly consumers; and helping a Somali community in Birmingham switch to solar energy and use energy-saving light bulbs.
Minister for Civil Society Nick Hurd says, “We want to support community energy groups to help each other. That’s why we are investing £500,000 so that larger projects can help smaller groups get off the ground and more people can learn how to make energy cost savings.”
Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change adds: “This new fund will give aspiring communities access to the cash they need to help kick start hundreds of clean, green energy projects. Not only can community energy projects boost local economies and drive forward green growth, they can also help save money on energy bills too.”
The Cabinet Office reports that its Centre for Social Action “supports the most effective non-profit projects that tackle persistent community issues. It will commit £36 million to addressing local problems which can benefit from community participation such as volunteering, mentoring, or peer-to-peer support.
EDF Energy has agreed to provide the groups with mentoring support in business management on a pro bono basis.