Just a quick update for this edition to let you know about some exciting new funding initiatives that have been launched this month, as well as a roundup of some interesting developments happening across the UK.
Obviously we were all disappointed to hear about the sudden cuts to the Feed In Tariff and hope that it hasn’t scuppered too many local community projects. However, if you are still considering solar or wind projects, or want to know more about the implications of the proposed cuts, then please visit the Energy Saving Trust's webpages, which have a very good summary of the changes and their potential impact.
Call for Kent case studies
Many thanks to those of you who have already submitted your case studies, we have had a good response, with examples from churches, transition towns, parish councils, community groups and campaign groups. It is great to hear about such a wide range of work going on across the county and hope that more of you will be able to share your stories and successes, no matter their size. I have attached a copy of the template to this email, please complete and return to email@example.com if you would like to submit your story.
We are currently in the process of putting all your case studies online and they will be linked via an interactive map, to allow you to see what is going on in your area. We expect the site to go live in January.
Elham residents discuss renewable future
On 7th October Elham Environment Group held a public meeting to explore renewable energy at home and in the community. The purpose of the evening was to present possible energy solutions and hear the views of the community about the best way forward. Presentations on solar, wind, heat pump and biomass energy were made by group members, together with Matthew Morris from the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The team was also joined by Rachel Coxcoon, from the Centre of Sustainable Energy and Richard Knox-Johnston, from Protect Kent, for a question and answer session chaired by the local County Councillor. Subjects included the sustainability of government incentives, how to convert warm air into heating and how to include the community in joint ventures. Wind turbines were the most debated issue of the evening and the chair gave extra time for this discussion. There was wide agreement that the event was well worth the effort and the debate has well and truly begun! For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, if you have any good news about projects you are working on, or want to promote a community event you are running please email email@example.com and we will include you in the next update. Deadline for submissions is 3rd February 2012.
Climate Change Week: 12th - 18th March 2012
Climate Week is a national campaign designed to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout the week of 12th to 18th March 2012, planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to motivate people to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.
The Climate Week Challenge in 2011 was Britain's biggest ever environmental competition, with over 145,000 people participating in the one day and one-hour versions. You can register now for the 2012 Climate Week Challenge, which will be revealed on Monday 12 March at 9am. Entries are also open for the prestigious Climate Week Awards, recognising the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector. To find out more about Climate Week go to climateweek.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 020 3397 2601.
New advice on how to set up and run a community buying group
There are many benefits to joining together with other consumers and combining your buying power to get better deals from shops and other suppliers. By buying in bulk, you should be able to get discounts on prices, saving everyone money. Typical examples of things that groups buy in bulk include food, heating oil, insulation and solar panels. The ‘Guide for Community Buying Groups', offers general advice for groups of consumers wishing to set up and run a buying group on a not-for-profit basis, it also aims to raise awareness of legislation and highlights the R Shop Bulk Buying Project, started in 2009 with the support of the Social Innovation Lab Kent.
Planning for climate change
A new resource for local communities has been produced by Climate East Midlands, to enable them to make informed decisions and provide meaningful input into planning consultations, especially for renewable energy, low carbon and adaptation work. The resources are part of a Climate Change Skills programme for the East Midlands; however most of the information is useful for communities across the UK. For further information, visit www.planningforclimatechange.org.uk.
Updates to Community Energy Online
The Department of Energy and Climate Change have recently updated their Community Energy Portal, which is aimed at community groups looking to develop community energy projects. The website currently offers community groups links to video training on the different stages of project development, such as choosing a technology and finding an installer. It also offers information on funding, best practice, feasibility, planning, land ownership and case studies.
Local Energy Assessment Fund
This new £10m scheme from the Department of Energy and Climate Change is designed to help communities prepare for, and benefit from, the Green Deal, feed-in tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive. The funding can be used for a range of activities, for example, to commission assessments of the energy efficiency of homes and buildings in the community, to run demonstration projects of the type that will shortly be available through the Green Deal (e.g. solid wall insulation), to carry out feasibility studies for community renewable energy projects, or to run public awareness-raising and engagement events.
Around £50,000 is available to each successful group (up to a maximum of £130,000). Applicants can be any legally incorporated not-for-profit group, such as a voluntary organisations, parish council, community-interest company or cooperative. The deadline for Phase 1 is the 22nd December 2011 and for Phase 2 the deadline is the 20th January 2012. For further information visit www.greencommunitiescc.org.uk
EDF Green Fund
The EDF Green Fund has been in existence since 2001, and was set up to provide a source of funding for non-profit organisations who wish to install small scale, renewable energy on their sites, who otherwise would not have been able to afford to do so. Grants of up to £30,000 are available to help cover the cost of renewable energy technology that can be used to produce green energy from the sun, wind, water, wood and other renewable sources. The next deadline for bids is the 28th February 2012. Visit the Green Fund website for further information.
For more information on community funding opportunities visit Kent4Community or for support on developing funding bids visit the Funding Buddies website.
This partnership bulletin is produced by Kent County Council, on behalf of the Kent Low Carbon Community Partnership.
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