Over 80 delegates joined us for Community Energy in the North East #nece2015 run in partnership with Northern Powergrid on Wednesday 4th February at the Castle Gate Centre in Newcastle.
Fiona Booth Head of the Community Energy Unit at DECC and Emma Bridge CEO at Community Energy England provided delegates with an update on the national picture relating to government policy, working groups, specific community energy funding streams, and the focus of their work moving forward which included an emphasis on gathering evidence to build a picture of community energy activity nationally, support to develop projects working on energy efficiency and possible financial support for grid connection costs.
Community Energy Seed Fund Winners
Northern Powergrid also gave an update on their support for community energy since the last conference in April 2014 which includes a £50,000 Community Energy Seed fund for groups and support to develop a regional coordinating and support body North East Community Energy in partnership with VONNE and Community Energy England. The winners were:
- Muggleswick Parish Council
- Northern Community Power
- Greening Wingrove
- North Tyneside Friends of the Earth
- WEA North East Green Branch
- Earth Doctors
Members of Northern Powergrid's grid connections team ran specific workshops to increase awareness of the process to connect to the grid. Other workshops in the programme included information on the Rural and Urban Community Energy Funds, advice on involving your community and community energy projects and schemes in rural and urban areas and dealing with reducing energy usage and collective purchasing sharing their experiences. A number of support and funding organisations also provided stalls in the event marketplace.
Feedback from the event tells us that delegates found it very useful to receive practical information around grid connections and funding, and the additional advice and support that is available to them. In addition, attendees found it very beneficial to hear from and network with other groups and organisations working in or developing community energy projects in the region.
An event report will be written and distributed to attendees and published on VONNE and Northern Powergrid's website in the next few weeks.
Join our LinkedIn group
In the meantime, do sign up to our new Linked In group North East Community Energy Network https://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=6926272&trk=anet_ug_hm where we will post useful information, notification of other events and activities and where you can post questions or discussion topics for others in the network to engage with.
Presentations from the events are available to download below: