Electricity North West has awarded £71,000 to community energy initiatives across Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, from community-owned hydropower to ‘Eco Warrior’ children.
The grant funding follows the launch of the network operator’s Community Energy Strategy in 2018, which set out to support projects that put community and local energy at the heart of communities in the North West.
The six winning projects include:
• Alston Moor Community Energy, Cumbria: A project investigating how to bring a hydro scheme into community ownership
• Eco Warriors, Burnley Boys and Girls Club, Lancashire: A project led by children who will learn how to reduce their own carbon footprint and become ‘Eco Warriors’ in their community
• Energy Justice Salford, Carbon Co-op, Greater Manchester: A new user-led approach to deliver energy efficiency measures to households in fuel poverty
• Fuel Katao, Paisay Bachao (Save fuel, save money), Kashmir Youth Project, Lancashire: Bi-lingual energy efficiency advice and tools for the Kashmir community in Rochdale
• Burneside Community Energy, Cumbria: A project looking at developing the business case for community-owned energy assets to supply a new housing development in Burneside, Cumbria
• Oldham Community Power, Greater Manchester: Electronic displays for four schools with community-owned solar panels to show children how they work and engage them on energy issues.
Graham Vernon, centre manager at Burnley Boys and Girls Club, said: “Thanks to the Electricity North West grant, we can now explore more cost effective and environmentally-friendly heating, as well as replace our existing lighting.
“Over a three-month period, the Eco Warriors will monitor the usage of electricity, record the data and develop evidence they can share with the wider community.”
Helen Seagrave, community energy manager at Electricity North West, said: “We’re delighted with our six winners who have all shown a commitment to developing innovation in community energy.
“This fund will provide some much needed resources into the development of community energy projects across our region and I’m sure will see increased awareness and understanding of the benefits and possibilities community energy brings.”
Electricity North West’s next community energy competition will be launched later in 2019.