Community Energy Fortnight runs from 13–28 September. This is the second year of the two-week promotion of community energy up and down the country.
Set up last year by the Community Energy Coalition, the event collected 60,000 signatures calling on the government to support community energy.
This year’s Fortnight is sponsored by Co-operative Energy, which is hosting a community energy conference in Birmingham on 13 September. Designed for everyone from beginners to experienced practitioners, the event will see discussion of the key issues in community energy.
Speakers will look at how to start up, forming local energy markets, raising community finance, policy changes, and a how the sector operates in Europe.
The Coalition includes other co-operative members, such as the Co-operative Group, Co-operatives UK and Energy4All, alongside other organisations such as Community Focus, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Church of England, Forum for the Future and Friends of the Earth, and has announced a 2020 vision for the sector.
It believes that by 2020, communities should be owning, generating and saving energy for the benefit of all. Communities can collectively play a substantial role to meet the UK’s carbon and renewables targets by saving energy.
By increasing the scale of investment in renewable energy, it can attract new individuals, communities and institutions to invest. The Coalition will also encourage people to act co-operatively to create sustainable communities and give everyone an equal opportunity to own and control shared assets.
It also calls for projects to respect communities, the landscape and wildlife.
To help make this happen, the Coalition’s 35 members have pledged to promote community energy with its members, to share best practice and ask local and national governments to support the sector through policy.