Co-operative Energy to launch world’s biggest celebration of community energy

One of the younger visitors to Westmill Wind Farm and Solar Park during the inaugural Community Energy Fortnight in 2013 (Photograph: Andy Cantlon)

Community energy projects spanning the breadth of Britain will be opening their doors as part of the 2014 Community Energy Fortnight, launched this Saturday by leading energy provider, Co-operative Energy. From the Outer Hebrides to the depths of Cornwall, these events will give everyone in the UK the opportunity to get involved with – and be inspired by - community energy, through visits to wind farms and hydro stations, to DIY solar panel workshops and the launch of a community share offer.

Organised by the Community Energy Coalition (CEC), a group of 36 civil society organisations led by sustainability non-profit organisation, Forum for the Future, the Community Energy Fortnight will run from Saturday 13th to Sunday 28th September and is the highlight of the community energy calendar.

With over 5,000 community energy schemes already in the UK, the Fortnight gives the public the chance to visit established community projects in their local area, all of which are actively engaged in generating and/or saving energy for the benefit of local people. It will be an opportunity to explore and celebrate how communities across the UK are generating, owning and saving energy.

With over 80 events confirmed already, the fortnight will bring community energy to life and showcase the array of benefits that this vibrant and growing sector is bringing to the UK.

Co-operative Energy will be launching the event with its own community energy conference on 13th September at the NEC in Birmingham, which will bring together a panel of leading experts to discuss community-based energy projects and their benefits.

Ramsay Dunning, group general manager, Co-operative Energy, said: “Following on from last year’s event, the world’s first Community Energy Fortnight, we are keen to make this year’s event even more successful, which is why we are proud to be playing such a central role by headlining and sponsoring the 2014 event.

“For years we’ve been encouraging our hundreds of thousands of customers and members to get involved in community energy schemes, and the Fortnight is the perfect opportunity to do just that. We currently have purchase power agreements with around 30 generators, 15 of which are owned by the community – a number which is constantly growing thanks to events like this.”

Sally Uren, CEO, Forum for the Future, said: “Last year’s first ever Community Energy Fortnight was a huge step for this burgeoning sector in establishing itself as a vital part of a sustainable energy system - and all the signs indicate that this year’s fortnight is going to be even bigger and better.

“The Fortnight is a great opportunity for people across the UK to find out what is already happening in their neighbourhoods, and get involved in building a more sustainable energy system from the grassroots up.”

Over 80 events have already been confirmed for the Fortnight, and the programme continues to grow day by day. They include:

  • The Co-operative Energy Community Energy Conference 2014 (Birmingham) – 13th September
  • Tour of Westmill Wind Farm and Solar Park (Swindon) – 13th September
  • Aber Dabba Doo - share offer launch festival! (Wales) – 13th September
  • Turning the Tide: A sea change in action on fuel poverty? (Scarborough) – 15th September
  • Behind the scenes at the Eden Project (St Austell) – 16th September
  • Steering a clear path to successful community energy (London) – 23rd September
  • The Low Carbon Hub Community Share Offer Launch (Nationwide) – 23rd September
  • Beyond 2015: Is Britain facing an energy crisis? (Manchester) – 24th September
  • Is Community Energy Right For You? (Scotland) – 26th September.

To find out more about all the events happening during the 2014 Community Energy Fortnight visit http://ukcec.org/events/community-fortnight-2014. You can also follow #CEF2014 on Twitter.

To purchase tickets for The Co-operative Energy Community Energy Conference 2014, click here.

Co-operative Energy
Co-operative Energy is an energy provider supplying gas and electricity to domestic customers across England, Scotland and Wales. The business is committed to fair pricing, lower carbon energy and is wholly owned by its customers, who are rewarded twice a year with a share of profits.

See www.cooperativeenergy.coop for further details.

Share this