CfR recognised at Community Energy England Awards

Jake Burnyeat (CfR founding Director) won the Community Energy Champion Award with Jason Blanchard (CfR Technical Manager) taking the Community Energy Young Champion Award at the Community Energy England and Community Energy Wales Community Energy Awards 2018. CfR was also short-listed for the Community Energy Finance Award for its work with Burnham and Weston Energy CIC. The awards were held in Bristol and sponsored by Co-op Energy and Bristol City Council.

 

Jake Burnyeat, on winning the award said: “Jason and I are really pleased to receive this recognition. The community energy sector has been built by passionate people who have, against the odds, demonstrated that villages, towns and cities can generate their own energy at scale.”

“If we want a local energy revolution delivering green jobs, local low carbon economies and solutions to fuel poverty, it can be done. But the Government needs to make it a central pillar of its energy strategy, and back it with appropriate policy measures.”

As part of the evening’s celebrations, Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar, and Robin Webster, Senior Climate Change Engagement Strategist at Climate Outreach, shared their thoughts on continued UK leadership on climate change and the role that communities can play.

Earlier in the day, Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth joined an afternoon conference preceding the awards ceremony, The Energy Transition: Top-Down v. Grassroots, hosted with Bristol Energy Network and Bristol City Council Energy Service. The conference focused on how communities, organisations and local authorities can work together more effectively to tackle fuel poverty and climate change.

Ahead of the ceremony an expert panel of judges selected winners in each of the seven categories following an open application process.

Mark Billsborough, Head of Renewables and Hedging at Co-op Energy and one of the Community Energy Awards 2018 judging panel, said: “It’s been an honour to judge the Community Energy Awards 2018. I can honestly say that making the final decisions was incredibly difficult. It’s clear that the impact of individuals like Jake and Jason mean thousands more people are able to access the benefits of community energy and make a change for the better in our bid to become a more energy efficient society.”

The Community Energy Awards 2018 marked the culmination of the inaugural Green Great Britain Week; a new initiative from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) highlighting the opportunities clean growth offers the UK. The week also marked the 10-year anniversary of the Climate Change Act.

The award categories and winners were:

Community Energy Champion
The individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the community energy sector over recent years.

Jake Burnyeat

Jake is the founder of Communities for Renewables CIC. His passion and dedication to the community energy sector has enabled CfR to work with over 30 community energy enterprises and has helped to deliver over £40 million of community solar PV in 10 localities ranging from school roofs to one of the largest community-owned solar farms in the UK.

Jake and the initiative he took to set up CfR and creating a talented team to work alongside him, have driven these successes. CfR has grown steadily to become one of the UK’s key community energy development and management firms and a contributor to the growth of the community energy sector in the UK. He also actively supports numerous community energy groups outside of CfR in his spare time as a volunteer.

Community Energy Young Champion (Sponsored by GENeco)
A new award for 2018 celebrating the increasing amount of creative, organised and motivated young people getting involved in community energy.

Jason Blanchard

Jason, 24, has worked with numerous community energy enterprises across the South West of England both through his role as Technical Manager at Communities for Renewables (CfR) CIC, and volunteering in his own personal time. Completing his studies in MEng Renewable Energy at the University of Exeter just two years ago, Jason’s expertise lies in technical asset management and performance monitoring. Jason is passionate about the community energy business model as a sustainable method for ensuring community benefit is gained from renewable energy. He has recently spoken at events to share with undergraduates how they can engage with and enter into the community energy industry.

Community Renewable Energy Project Award
The most outstanding renewable electricity generation project undertaken by a community group. Sponsored by Co-op Energy.

The Schools’ Energy Cooperative Ltd 

Schools Energy Co-op, working through a network of local groups and partners, has installed solar panels on 42 schools, including 16 in the past 17 months, with many more installations under development.

Community Energy & Carbon Saving Award
The community group which has undertaken the most inspiring energy conservation and/or management project.

C.H.E.E.S.E. Domestic energy loss surveys

The C.H.E.E.S.E Project – Cold Homes Energy Efficiency Survey Experts, is a not-for-profit community-led organisation set up with Bristol Green Capital funding to help householders to make their homes more energy efficient. We have developed, over three years of piloting, a highly innovative and low-cost method, using iPhone-based equipment, to identify sources of heat loss in people’s homes by means of internal thermal imaging surveys. This enables us to recommend remedial measures and results in 75% of our clients taking remedial action within three months. Such low-cost actions frequently have a payback period on energy expenditure of one year or less.

Local Authority Award
The Local Authority that has done most to help local community energy organisations through partnering, investing, policy or other support.

Suffolk Climate Change Partnership 

The Suffolk Climate Change Partnership is a highly successful collaboration of local authorities that has led to Suffolk becoming the number one county for council owned solar PV. The Partnership has provided a range of support for community energy including awareness raising and planning support, funding and feasibility studies through to direct investment in installations, producing a community energy toolkit and giving in-depth advice and support to over 120 community buildings.

Collaboration Award 

The most commendable collaboration between community and commercial /public/third sector partners. Sponsored by Power To Change.

Energise Barnsley

Energise Barnsley has undertaken a number of projects in collaboration with a wide range of partners. Its current project is a demand side response project in homes with air source heat pumps, a smart battery and solar PV for a domestic DSR BEIS competition. Energise Barnsley is the community group leading the collaboration which includes, Oxford Brookes University (academic partner), Sonnen Technologies (commercial battery partner), Upside Energy (commercial aggregator), Northern Powergrid (DNO partner) and Berneslai Homes (tenant housing association).

The project is exploring possible demand side response for domestic tenanted housing residents, alongside the government’s target of the electrification of heat.

Community Energy Finance Award
The community group and/or its funders and advisers, which have achieved the most impact through a range of financial instruments/mechanisms, through grant funding, debt finance, community shares, funding platforms or new funding models.

Mean Moor Wind Farm in partnership with Thrive Renewables

In July 2017 a consortium of three community energy co-operatives acquired the recently commissioned 3 turbine 6.9MW Mean Moor Wind Farm near Ulverston, Cumbria from its commercial owners, who had bought it from the developers.  The acquisition was complex and its funding involved bridging finance from Thrive Renewables and two community bond offers.  Mean Moor is next to the community owned High Winds wind farm, and they are now being operated together.  With five turbines between the two sites and a combined capacity of 11.5MW, this has created one of the largest community-owned renewable energy projects in the country.

Thrive Renewables funding model is a response to the growing desire for community owned renewables. Thrive has already deployed over £12 million of investment through this model.  The bridge funding gives communities the time they need to raise their own funds through local ‘crowdfunding’ or a bank loan.

Community Energy Photo Award

An original image that best captures the essence of the community energy movement.

YnNi Teg

Three Directors of YnNi Teg (Welsh for “Fair Energy”), which runs a 900kW community-owned wind turbine near Carmarthen, modelling ethical pants with the tagline ‘Powered by Wind’ that were given to all subscribers to their share offer.

Outstanding Contribution to Community Energy Award

A special award voted for by the expert panel of judges.

Energy4All

Energy4All is a co-operative, headquartered in Cumbria and currently comprising 23 trading and successful community renewable energy organisations, each of which is independent but co-operates through Energy4All to deliver more effectively their project management and administrative needs; and their common mission of increasing community owned renewable energy generation. For 15 years the team at Energy4All have successfully enabled individuals to do something practical about climate change and to create and own some ‘green’ generating capacity.

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