We’re working in partnership with the following organisations on a broad range of projects to support householders, communities and businesses:
Our Current Projects include:
Cornwall Energy Advice Service (September 2020 to August 2022)
The Cornwall Energy Advice Service is funded by Energy Industry Voluntary Redress Scheme www.energyredress.org.uk and will support vulnerable consumers across Cornwall at risk of or experiencing fuel poverty. With high deprivation and poor housing stock, demand already outweighs available resources for more in-depth, time intensive energy advice, advocacy and casework. As the wider financial impact of Covid-19 is felt on Cornwall’s rural and coastal towns and villages, demand is likely to significantly increase. Over the 2 years of the project, a dedicated team will tailor services to individual client needs. As a holistic approach, these vulnerable consumers will also be signposted or referred to other health and wellbeing, debt and income maximisation services. Households will reduce their energy consumption and gain the life skills needed to better manage their energy. Financial savings will be made with lower energy bills, cheaper tariffs and reduced debt. Vulnerable consumers and their households will benefit from improved health and wellbeing with warmer, more energy efficient homes.
Park Homes PLUS (March 2020 to Feb 2022)
There are over 4,000 park homes in Cornwall used for permanent accommodation, as opposed to holiday letting units. Older park homes tend to be inefficient at retaining heat and many are not connected to the mains gas network and so face much higher than average heating costs; typically space heating is fuelled by bottled LPG or electricity. Living in a warm home is an important aspect of keeping healthy in older age, so the higher heating costs of park homes can put their residents, who tend to be older and living on low incomes, at a greater risk of fuel poverty than those living in conventionally built properties. Park Homes PLUS will tackle these issues by engaging with vulnerable park home residents (living on low or fixed income, or those with long term health issues), investigate their heating needs and energy consumption, and provide energy advice and guidance.
Warm Homes Discount Industry Initiative (March 2018 to present)
Community Energy Plus are working with Cornwall Council and the energy supplier SSE on the third year’s delivery of a project to provide advice and practical help for vulnerable householders who are at risk from the health dangers of living in cold homes. Our Warm Homes Caseworker works closely with frontline health and social care professionals to take referrals from vulnerable clients who need assistance to achieve warmer, healthier homes.
Clients receive in-depth advice through this project and also are able to access capital measures such as heating repairs servicing and upgrades, insulation, draught-proofing, heated throws and LEDs.
Winter Wellbeing (2012 to present)
Winter Wellbeing is a project to ensure that vulnerable householders in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have direct access to the advice and practical support they need to stay warm and well during the winter. The Cornwall Council co-ordinated project is seeing of a range of organisations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly working with the elderly, young families and individuals in poor health, joining forces to provide a co-ordinated response to the cold weather.
Community Energy Plus hosted the project’s Freephone advice line and offered home visits to provide householders at risk of ill heath in the cold weather advice on insulation, heating and managing energy bills, along with practical support.
Community Energy Switch
We’re encouraging householders across Cornwall to join forces to cut their energy billsthrough our new initiative called Community Energy Switch.
We’re working with the national switching organisation energyhelpline to co-ordinate our collective switch campaigns and link into the group buying power of several other collectives taking place across the country at the same time.
We offer three collective energy switches each year. Read more about this initiative on our project page.
Big Energy Saving Network
We are proud to be a Big Energy Saving Network Delivery Partner. Through our workshops we help householders become more aware of how their bills are calculated and the methods of finding cheaper tariffs to help them save money on their energy bills and encourage others to shop around.
Past projects include:
Energy Wise (2018 – 2020)
Energy Wise is our Big Lottery funded advice project which aims to help vulnerable households escape from the misery, anxiety and ill-health caused by fuel poverty.
The three year project started in January 2018. Through the provision of specialist advice and support to householders to reduce their energy costs and maintain healthy indoor temperatures and humidity levels, over the next three years it will help 4,000 households stay warm in the winter, prevent damp and mould and avoid summer overheating.
A new model of enterprise for low carbon community heat
In January 2017 we started a two year project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Foundation to explore and test business models for the provision of local community-owned heat.
It will deliver a pilot community heat project that will prove the business case needed to stimulate wider roll out and support community enterprises to transition to a no subsidy scenario.
Projects involving heat networks have to be of a large enough scale to be economically viable, but their size requires levels of finance and risk that can be prohibitive to smaller organisations. We are particularly interested in developing a solution based on smaller scale community heat projects that are quick and affordable to deliver and minimise disruption to occupants, thereby increasing take up. We also want to develop knowledge of the most effective ways for community enterprises to benefit from direct heat sales to customers.
The model will be of interest to existing community energy groups trying to understand how they can transition into the emerging market for low carbon heat and also to charities, social purpose organisations, social investors and local authorities seeking to generate sustainable long term income streams through environmentally responsible social enterprise.
We are excited about the potential this project has to inspire a national grass-roots revolution in the way that we heat our homes and which will have long lasting environmental, social and economic benefits.
Tide Mills UK & Africa (TIMUKA)
The UK was once home to over 200 tide mills, which used water mills driven by flood and ebb tides, in a similar way to inland water mills. TiMUKA – Tide Mills UK & Africa is designed to enable the restoration of historic tide mill sites in UK, using technologies and civil engineering installation methods that may also be used to install advanced tide mills in developing countries, starting in Sub Saharan Africa.
Continuing work that started as part of a CEP led Rural Community Energy Fund feasibility study, further investigations of the potential for renewable electricity generation from tidal range resources has attracted funding from Innovate UK. The project has drawn together a multi-partner consortium led by tidal energy experts, Tide Mills Limited, supported by Mojo Maritime, and includes Community Energy Plus contributing our extensive knowledge of planning and community engagement for community scale renewables.
Low Carbon Community Heat – Friends Provident
The project is seeking to contribute to our learning about how to unlock affordable, low carbon heat in rural communities. Presently the main technologies used to generate low carbon heat have been proven at an individual building scale, but there has been less testing as part of a ‘district heating’ solution, especially in rural settings. The goal of the project is to identify the barriers and drivers to alternative and affordable options, by testing a pilot project with the aim of moving from proof-of-concept to specification and installation and potentially then to replication and deployment at increasing scale.
Work has been focussed on the rural ‘off-gas’ community of St Just, the most south-westerly town in Cornwall, close to Land’s End.
Energy Best Deal
A national project led by Citizens Advice, we provide advice sessions with frontline workers and vulnerable consumers in Cornwall taking part, covering a range of topics including understanding bills, getting to grips with the different tariffs and payment methods; dealing with energy debt, how to use less energy; and the help that is available towards energy costs and to make homes more energy efficient.
Community Energy Solar
This programme was launched as a socially motivated alternative to other solar offers for commercial rooftops, to unlock the energy generating potential of commercial and community buildings across Cornwall.
Through the programme businesses, farms, community buildings, clubs and community centres could benefit from free installation and ongoing maintenance of solar panels in order to access the electricity generated by the panels at a rate which was typically at least 50% less than standard commercial tariffs.
Cornwall New Energy (2018 – 2020)
We have completed our delivery of this ERDF funded project with the Cornwall New Energy partnership, providing support to businesses, social enterprises and community groups that want to generate renewable energy and improve their energy and environmental performance.
Affordable Heat Home Advice (January 2017 – Dec 2017)
In December 2017 we completed our one year project funded by the Ebico Trust.
The project provided a part-time caseworker to deliver home advice visits and follow up support for householders in Cornwall, struggling to heat their homes and in need of help to understand and manage their energy bills. It also provided a flexible fund to pay for low-cost measures to improve the energy efficiency of clients’ homes.
Smart Warmth (2016)
Thanks to a grant from The British Gas Energy Trust, we are helping vulnerable and low income householders in Cornwall to keep warm and well.
The funding is also enabling Community Energy Plus to deliver Freephone energy advice and home visits for those who need more in-depth advice and would benefit from one-to-one support in their homes.
Grants of up to £300 are available for low income households with long-term health conditions to make energy efficient home improvements to help them maintain healthy room temperatures.
Our Smart Warmth project is also enabling us to develop and trial some innovative state of the art thermometer badges that will alert the wearer when the room is too cold or hot. The badges are being made available to 50 householders who are aged 65 or older and have respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses to help them to keep comfortable and healthy in their homes and use a personalised action plan if their badge alerts them to an unhealthy room temperature.
Green Heating Project for Cornish Park Homes (2017)
In March 2017 we completed our delivery of part of a project managed by Cornwall Council’s which secured funding from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Central Heating Fund.
Our aspect of the project drew on our expertise of both working with park home residents and low carbon technologies and saw five Air-to-Air Source Heat Pumps installed.
The feedback we have received from the heat pump beneficiaries has been extremely encouraging. Householders have reported that their homes are now much easier to heat and have less condensation. We look forward to seeing the impact that the new heating systems have on participants energy bills after a full heating system has passed.
Research Project: Low Carbon Heat and Rural Fuel Poverty – Lessons from Europe (Aug 2016 – Nov 2017)
Rural communities have higher fuel poverty levels due to low incomes and expensive heating fuels. Some European countries with more low carbon heat take-up have lower fuel poverty levels than the UK.
Our project, funded by the Eaga Charitable Trust, will provided a comparative analysis between the UK and other countries to identify drivers and barriers affecting take-up. See the project’s resources page for more information.
Energy Fit Kitchens (May 2015 – May 2016)
This innovative project helped householders with young children to understand their energy use and how to use less and enjoy lower energy bills.
611 low income families in Cornwall have taken action to save energy and money through an innovative energy efficiency project based around slow cooking workshops.
The focus on energy efficient cooking has provided a stepping stone to encourage people to learn about ways to save energy throughout the home and highlight how lots of small changes can add up to big savings on energy bills. Community Energy Plus’ Energy Fit Kitchens project was funded by a grant of £47,333 from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to deliver the workshops.
Hayle Renewable Energy Feasibility Project (July 2015 – February 2016)
Feasibility work was carried out to investigate opportunities for Hayle to become a world leader in small scale tidal energy generation. To focus the spotlight on the potential of small scale tidal energy generation, some preliminary feasibility work has been carried out to explore the options for small scale tidal generation at Hayle’s Carnsew and Copperhouse Pools. The project is exploring the potential to create an integrated solution to sluicing, flood protection and clean energy generation using small underwater turbines.
The feasibility project has been led by Community Energy Plus which has commissioned the Falmouth-based marine renewable energy consultant Mojo Maritime, part of James Fisher and Sons plc, to carry out the preliminary technical feasibility studies. The work has been made possible thanks to funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) which is a £15 million programme, delivered by the waste and resources charity WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (DBEIS). It supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.
Lanivet Renewable Energy Feasibility Project (Summer – Autumn 2015)
Feasibility work investigated opportunities to install a package of community-owned renewable energy technologies in the parish of Lanivet.
Community Energy Plus worked with Lanivet Parish Council, Lanivet Sport and Recreation Trust and Stephen Gelly Organics, to carry out the initial stages of this feasibility work.
Community Energy Plus secured funding for this feasibility project from the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) which is delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the
Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). The project supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social benefits to the community.
Park Homes Insulation Project (2013-2014)
Community Energy Plus worked with Cornwall Council to coordinate and manage the installation of external wall insulation and associated measures to 67 residential park homes on sites across Cornwall.
Cornwall Council’s Green Cornwall Programme provided funding of £500,000 to part fund external wall, roof and floor insulation. Residents were offered up to 50% of the total costs with an interest free loan to cover the remaining 50%.
As a direct result of measures installed through the project, 89% of residents who responded to surveys indicated that they are now always able to keep their homes warm compared to 4% before and save an average of 32% on the cost of their energy bills. Insulation of the 67 park homes also resulted in an estimated carbon saving of between 2,284 and 3,282 tonnes CO2e. Importantly, the number of residents with an illness caused or exacerbated by them living in a cold home reduced from 33% to 3%.
Powering Up Communities / energyfund Cornwall
A successful application to Energyshare’s Energyfund Cornwall in December 2014 has enabled Community Energy Plus supported by Kabin, the independent Co-operative development body for Cornwall, to offer not-for-profit community groups in Cornwall an opportunity to ‘power-up’ with the skills they need to build their membership and enjoy the environmental, social and financial benefits of delivering green energy projects.
The “Powering-up Communities” programme delivered a series of six workshops on a range of subjects, from setting up a group right through to raising funds to bring a renewable energy project to fruition. Building on this training, participating groups were able to access mentoring support tailored to the needs of their groups to guide the development of sustainable energy activities the renewable energy development in their local area.
Additionally, Community Energy Plus also supported a number of community energy projects across the county with their applications. Fowey, South Hill and Constantine all secured funding and our team have started to work with the groups to help them progress the development of their community energy projects.
Probus Renewable Energy Feasibility Project (July 2015 – February 2016)
Feasibility work investigated opportunities for an exemplar solar reserve, promoting biodiversity, Solar PV for the Village Hall and other community and private buildings in the parish along with assessing opportunities for the development of wind and anaerobic digestion projects.
Community Energy Plus secured funding for this feasibility project from the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) which is delivered by WRAP and jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the
Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). The project supports rural communities in England to develop renewable energy projects which provide economic and social
Falmouth Green Living (2013-2015)
Community Energy Plus has teamed up with Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union to help implement an exciting new sustainability initiative called the Green Living Project. The two year project is funded by the NUS and started in September 2013 and aims to create a generation of environmentally aware students through education, engagement and employment.
We will be focusing on energy usage in private student accommodation, aiming to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and educate students in pro-environmental behaviour. As well as having a lasting impact on the sustainability of the university community, the project sets out to increase the uptake of energy saving measures in private student accommodation, particularly insulation. The project will include training student energy champions who will undertake home audits, giving advice and information and engagement activity with landlords.
Good Climate for Counties (Polish Project 2010-15)
Community Energy Plus will be sharing their experiences of promoting renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cornwall to inspire low carbon activity within local authorities in Poland for the Good Climate for Counties Project. The charity will share best practice at conferences held in Poland and at the end of the project will host a study trip for a delegation of project participants to visit sustainable energy projects across the county.
Insulation (2009 – 2011)
Working on behalf of Cornwall Council since 2009 and Carrick District Council for the twelve years before it became part of a unitary council, we have installed loft and cavity wall insulation to over 25,000 households in Cornwall.
Illogan Green Ripple (2011-12)
We were part of a project to help Tolvaddon householders live well while understanding and reducing their energy usage. The Illogan Green Ripple involves a collaboration between local volunteers, Illogan Parish Council,Cornwall’s sustainable energy charity Community Energy Plus and Cornwall Council. The project was funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government for a year to pilot ways of implementing Eco Towns & Development Standards into Planning Policy.
Superfast Wadebridge (2013-2014)
Community Energy Plus are part of a consortium led by PFA Research on behalf of Superfast Cornwall to assess the environmental, economic and social impacts of superfast broadband. The 18 month research project was a world first and harnessed Community Energy Plus’s environmental expertise to lead quantitative research, collecting and analysing meter readings from participating homes and businesses.
Skills Action Plan for Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services (2014)
As a result of a competitive tender process, in December, Cornwall Development Company commissioned Community Energy Plus to produce a Skills Action Plan for Low Carbon Environmental Goods and Services.
This four month consultancy project looked at both the existing demand for ‘green skills’ from a wide range of businesses working on Cornwall, and the future potential for growth of the green sector, with an additional sub-sector analysis of the opportunities presented by the advent of smart energy, for the Smart Cornwall team.
This major report is currently being reviewed by Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, and will influence the development of low carbon projects funded by the next round of EU Convergence investment.
Warm Front Top-ups
Recognising that the requirement for personal contributions were a barrier to some householders taking up the Warm Front heating grants offered to them, since 2009 we have secured over £30,000 from the local PCT to provide top-ups to individuals in the greatest need, enabling 45 individual households to benefit from over £250,000 of installed measures.
‘Warm Me Up!’ Project (2011 to 2015)
Following a grant of £430,000 by the Big Lottery Fund in October 2011, we delivered a four year project focussed on helping householders to develop life skills in energy management as a pathway to enjoying warmer, healthier homes and a future free from the misery of living in cold, damp homes that are expensive to run.
Key to the project’s success was the innovative approach taken to improve the accessibility of fuel poverty advice. The Warm Me Up team provided home visits, outreach events, energy surgeries and also worked closely with communities and frontline practitioners to ensure that the service reached the people who needed help the most and maximised the support available to them through cross referrals to other services.
Over 1800 householders received advice and practical support from the project during three years of delivery. Follow-up evaluation with those helped by the project has shown the long term value of the services provided, as householders report that they have taken steps to more actively manage their energy bills and enjoy improved quality of life and wellbeing.
Another lasting legacy of the project are the 351 frontline workers and volunteers equipped with the skills to spot the signs of fuel poverty. These fuel poverty champions can help ensure that some of the most vulnerable members of our community access the support they need to stay warm and well in the winter months.
The project achieved national recognition when it was selected as a best practice example by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in ‘Cutting the Cost of Keeping Warm: The New Fuel Poverty Strategy for England’ which was published in March 2015.
Fuel for 50+ (2011)
The project set out to provide an improved quality of life for people over 50 by helping to reduce fuel poverty. We provided a dedicated caseworker to take referrals from frontline workers, agencies and projects to give help and advice to their clients with understanding energy bills, managing their energy use, maintaining healthy indoor temperatures and shopping around for the best tariff.
LEAF Projects (Feb – March 2012)
The government’s £10 million Local Energy Assessment Fund was designed to help communities prepare for, and benefit from, the Green Deal, Feed-in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive by developing their own energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
In January and February 2012 DECC announced that Transition Penwith, Fowey Renewable Energy Enterprise (FREE), The Fal Energy Partnership, The Rame Peninsula and Polperro Community Group Ltd (PURE) were sucessful in their bid for LEAF funding.
Community Energy Plus supported these community energy groups to help them deliver projects before the end of March 2012.
Hayle ‘Less is More’ project (2014)
Community Energy Plus worked in partnership with Western Power Distribution to deliver an innovative pilot project to help the community living in town of Hayle in West Cornwall to reduce their electricity usage and shift peaks of demand in order to relieve pressure on their local substations. The project was funded by Ofgem’s Low Carbon Networks fund and is being co-ordinated by the Centre for Sustainable Energy.
Between January 2014 and December 2014, households connected to two different local electricity substations within the town would see how much energy they’re using in real time and how it compares against their target through the project’s website. The communities were incentivised to meet energy reduction and peak shifting targets through the opportunity to win up to £5,000 for their local area.
Although the targets set by the project were quite ambitious, residents of the Trelissick and Tremorva areas of Hayle made a fantastic effort to change the way that they use energy and raised £8,310 to spent towards heating or covering the Hayle Outdoor Swimming Pool.
Energy agencies like Community Energy Plus serve an important role in introducing good energy management practices, promoting sustainability, providing quality information and guidance, and offering other services based on local needs. International co-operation, networking and peer learning among these actors is essential to achieve the EU’s ambitious 2020 energy and climate targets.
ManagEnergy was established to enable local energy agencies to work together more effectively.
We support a number of national and international campaigns to help alleviate fuel poverty, including: