Volunteers in community energy co-ops in the North West are sharing more than £80,000 to support the region’s needs in energy use and transition.

Grid operator Electricity North West has made community grants to six projects from its Powering our Communities scheme.  

Now in its sixth year, the DNO’s regional fund supports development of community and local energy initiatives from Merseyside to the Scots border.

ENW’s community energy manager Helen Seagrave said: “We recognise the role community energy has to play in the North West.

“Community energy is fundamental to ensuring our region meets its future energy needs and Net Zero targets. Ensuring those targets are met requires everybody to play their part. The winning projects will undoubtedly benefit thousands of people.”

Community energy activists volunteer on local and community-led initiatives to reduce, manage, generate or purchase energy. Practical action taken typically ranges from providing energy saving advice, finding and educating organisations such schools and local authorities in clean energy opportunities, and introducing them to installers of solar panels, heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points.

Deaf Rhinos covers north Manchester. For their project in Rochdale, ENW’s fund dispensed £9,000 to empower and engage people with hearing difficulties in the transition to a low carbon future.

Also benefitting is Community Energy Preston.  They receive £15,000 to conduct feasibility studies on public roofs to speed the installation of approximately 1 MWp of community-owned solar PV.

Brookfield Spaceplace has also been awarded £15,000 to develop a new energy cooperative which will help householders on the Brookfield estate in Preston make their homes more energy efficient.

In Hyndburn, the community-owned environmental Prospects Foundation receive £14,054 to help community organisations cut carbon emissions and their energy bills.

In Cumbria, Cleator Moor Celtic have £15,000 to install solar panels and EV charging points. South Lakeland Action on Climate Change have been awarded £15,000 to roll out a project which will help create awareness and demand for a range of individual and community low carbon solutions, towards an goal of moving to electricity as a heat source.

“We were really impressed by the range of applications we received,” added ENW’s Helen Seagrave.

“The approved projects will undoubtedly make a difference in their local communities, and I can’t wait to see the outcomes.”

Electricity North West will be the headline sponsor at this year’s national Community Energy Awards 2023.  Run by national advocates Community Energy England, the event this November celebrates exceptional achievements in promoting volunteer-delivered initiatives.

The awards recognise innovative projects, inspiring leaders, and impactful initiatives that are shaping the future of community energy. For more information on the event visit Community Energy Awards 2023 | Community Energy England.

In the year to March, Electricity North West posted a pre-tax profit of £145 million on sales of £495 million. From the company’s accounts, newly arrived CEO Ian Smyth can expect first year earnings, including bonus, in excess of £1 million.


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