Proving the power of local people in Bath


I was privileged last week to take part in Bath & West Community Energy’s (BWCE) AGM. It was a truly inspiring event and proof positive of the power of community energy. As well as seeing healthy financial returns for investors and the community fund, we heard of exciting plans for the future around new energy storage, supply and generation projects.

Local charities and good causes are using grants from BWCE’s community fund to really make a difference on the ground. Janet Dabbs, CEO of Age UK Bath & North East Somerset, awarded nearly £5,000 in 2015, spoke about their ‘Winter Warmer’ project to reach, inform and support vulnerable older people, empowering them to stay warm over the winter. And Climate Friendly Bradford-on-Avon has been using their award for a variety of projects to promote energy efficiency in the town, including using thermal imaging cameras to help people improve insulation and demonstrating energy efficient LED lightbulbs.

watermill-construction-bathBWCE’s community fund is now open for 2017. They are encouraging local charities and good causes with projects that reduce carbon emissions or tackle fuel poverty in the area to apply. So if you have a practical initiative that will lead to real community benefits in Bath & North East Somerset, do get in touch.
It really has been quite a week for BWCE. They also learned that Bath & North East Somerset council will make a loan to the Old Mill Community Hydro project, which they are currently building. The first half of the funding is already in place and The Council’s £130,000 loan will cover the rest of the capital costs of the scheme. The brand new modern water wheel is expected to be completed and generating renewable electricity by the end of the year.