Co-operatives UK have just announced some really useful-looking funding to enable mentoring and peer-to-peer support for community energy initiatives. It can be used either by Transition groups seeking mentoring support for their emergent community energy companies, or for established initiatives who would like to be able to offer that support. We heard recently the impact such an approach is already having in Sussex. You can read more about it, and how to apply, here. It’s a fast turnaround, the deadline for first round applications is August 8th. See Frequently Asked Questions here.
Below is a taster, its guidance for community groups seeking support:
What types of groups will be eligible for support?
You will be one of a growing number of community energy groups and enterprises across the UK working to generate energy and to reduce demand through energy efficient products sharing all or most of the following characteristics:
- Generating renewable energy including electricity and heat generation, including technologies such as solar PV, wind, hydro, or biomass
- Interested in sharing the benefits and how surplus generated by projects will accrue to the whole community
- Aiming to build community cohesion, and often have strong social aims, such as working to combat fuel poverty in the local area, providing an income stream for local projects, or engaging residents on energy efficiency issues.
- Interested in democratic control, one member one vote, and aiming to build member participation
- Turning to the use of community shares (equity) to raise finance for your scheme
You should be at a stage early enough in your journey and just setting up where you will benefit most from mentoring support. The only criteria is that you are not a well-established group already delivering a range of renewable energy projects.
Why Get Involved?
We can help you to develop and deliver projects in your community through a programme of mentoring support.
- Peer mentoring – We have a pool of Peer Mentors to deliver the technical support, experience and knowledge to support communities across England to develop their community energy projects. This will come from experienced community practitioners, who can provide support based on first-hand experience
- Inspiration – We will share information and good news stories about what can be achieved by community groups through case studies and through you the communities that sign up to the project
- Network – You will be able to share ideas and connect with other community groups across England through our linked in forum
- Information – We will provide regular information in our Resources and News and Events section to help provide you with up to date information on the variety of support available to you, funding, tools and inspirational ideas