South Hill Parish in North Cornwall took its first steps to becoming a flagship area for Community Energy, with the launch of a new local energy group this month.
A small number of residents were looking for new members and fresh ideas to take ownership of energy at a local level. At the launch, the neighbourhood turned out in force and the response was overwhelmingly positive, as opportunities to create a sustainable future for South Hill were discussed.
Neil Farrington, Sustainable Energy Projects Manager at Community Energy Plus, who has been supporting the energy group, said: “Recently the government unveiled its Community Energy Strategy, which puts local communities at the heart of future energy policy. This will make it easier for groups like the one at South Hill to establish projects to save energy and generate their own clean, green power. The approach also means retaining the financial, social and environmental benefits within the local community for the long term.”
South Hill Parish Councillor David Skelton, who established the group, explained the thinking behind the move. “As individuals and communities, we are all facing challenges in the way we manage energy. Change is needed and this is our chance to decide what direction that takes. Grassroots projects by their nature have local people and the environment at their heart, and are therefore best placed to meet the challenges of the future sustainably.”
Community Energy Plus is a Cornish charity with over 15 years’ experience of delivering innovative energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for householders and communities. This expertise can be put to good use by groups like South Hill, helping local people explore their options for generating, managing and using energy more sustainably. Some of the options the partnership is looking at include a programme of external wall insulation, group purchasing, and schemes which help reduce energy use through behavioural change.
People in South Hill Parish who are keen to contribute their time and skills are invited to come to a follow-up meeting on Thursday 13th February at South Hill Parish Hall at 7.30pm. The group will be brainstorming ideas for renewable energy generation and ways to make energy more affordable across the parish.
Alternatively you can get in touch with the group via e-mail – [email protected]