First steps taken to develop Community Energy Sector in Central Bedfordshire

Aug 2023

Community Energy South (CES) have been supporting five communities across Central Bedfordshire to take local action on climate change. Through the Community Energy Pathways Programme, groups of ordinary people that are interested in renewable energy, community, and the environment, have come together to look at ways to reduce local carbon emissions by:

  • creating locally owned renewable energy projects
  • insulating and retrofitting public buildings and homes
  • saving local schools, individuals, and businesses money on their bills
  • developing sustainable transport projects

They are creating new Community Energy Groups, powered by local people, and supported by the CES team. People powered energy is about communities taking democratic control over their energy future, by understanding, generating, using, owning and also saving energy in their communities, as well as working together across regions and nationally.

There are over 400 community Energy Groups in England with over 200,000 members saving communities over £3.35 million in energy bills a year.  They use existing rooftops for solar, build wind turbines, install ground source heat pumps, EV charge points, create EV car clubs, build solar farms and electric cargo bike schemes and a host of energy advice and retrofit projects. Essentially, they ask the community how it wants to decarbonise their area and then gets to work!

We are pleased to announce the first group to become incorporated as a Community Benefit Society is from the towns and surrounding parishes of Ampthill and Flitwick and are called Greensand Community Energy.  They are looking at developing a range of decarbonisation projects with local schools, businesses, and individuals.

Next is Buzz Community Energy, forming in Leighton Linslade/Buzzard which includes the Parish of Billington. The team there are looking for someone with engineering and marketing or comms experience to join their team to help with them develop a pipeline of projects starting with an exciting school roof solar project.

There are also groups forming around Houghton Regis, Potton and Fairfield. The Potton group will welcome interest from local groups and residents from the local area including Biggleswade and Sandy, Houghton Regis from Dunstable and surrounding parishes.

You don’t need to be an expert in renewable energy or have a degree in climate science to get involved, you just need to want more grassroots climate action where you live.

If you would like to be part of these groups and to find out more, please email Kelly Dibbert, Project Manager from CES

The Community Energy Pathways Programme has been commissioned by Central Bedfordshire Council to help them reach the targets in their comprehensive Sustainability Plan.

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Categories: Support