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Communities powering change

February 4, 2014

Last week the Department for Energy and Climate Change released its first ever ‘Community Energy Strategy’. The Strategy is all about encouraging energy efficiency and low carbon energy at local scale, through grassroots and local authority led activity.

DECC’s definition of ‘community energy’ is deliberately broad, ranging from home insulation advice and collective switching schemes to community energy generation projects. But what is interesting is how Strategy highlightsr the role of local authorities in creating and supporting opportunities for community energy. This can be through:
• Provision of information and advice
• Coordination of community activity
• Support through the planning process and encouraging communities to incorporate energy into their neighbourhood plan
• Provision of loan funds and financial support.

Clearly the last point is where MLEI Cambridgeshire fits in – we even got a mention in the Secretary of State’s covering letter! MLEI Cambridgeshire is currently in the first phase of developing and testing our Low Carbon Investment Fund on Cambridgeshire County Council’s own buildings and schools, and we would like to make the offer of loan finance available to community groups in due course.

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