Community energy vision
Cheshire West and Chester Council has been supporting low carbon community groups for a number of years. Many communities are now firmly established with successful energy efficiency and demand management projects; hence attentions are turning towards renewable energy generation. Following the publication of the national Community Energy Strategy in 2014, and the concurrent growth in the community energy sector, the need to develop specific localised support for community renewables became increasingly evident. As such, work began in April 2015 to develop a full support package for local community groups.
Aim: To support the community energy sector to grow and flourish in West Cheshire
Cheshire West and Chester Council will support community energy in the following ways:
1. Self-service toolkit
Maintain a current, user-friendly self-service hub, providing localised community energy guidance.
2. Personal support
Mentor groups with unique projects and/or particular challenges, helping to establish case study schemes locally.
3. Peer networking events
Provide opportunities for community groups to come together bi-annually and share experiences, focused around themed meetings.
4. Neighbourhood planning support
Support Neighbourhood Planning groups to shape community energy policies, initially through an advice note.
5. Local Plan (part two)
Policy support for community energy, building on the ENV 7 Alternative energy supplies policy in the Local Plan (Part One).
Issue e-newsletter to all community groups and partners on a quarterly basis, alerting to local and national community energy news.
7. Work in partnership
Collaborate with partner organisations and internal Council teams to continually support the community energy sector with shared goals.
8. Engage young people
Work with the National Energy Foundation and Duke of Edinburgh Award centres to support Energy Envoys in delivering community energy projects.