Community Energy Forum set to empower Sussex residents to take charge of their energy future

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Community Energy England in partnership with Community Energy South, and supported by UK Power Networks and Ouse Valley Climate Action, is hosting the first ever Regional Member Forum designed to empower Sussex residents to take ownership of their energy. This takes place on 21 March 24, 11-2.30pm, East Sussex College Newhaven - Marine Workshops.

The forum brings people from community energy groups across the south east, climate groups, community representatives, local authorities and UK Power Networks, the Distribution Network Operator, to share knowledge, problem solve collaboratively and form partnerships to accelerate the growth of community-owned clean energy and energy efficiency measures across the region.

Ollie Pendered, Chief Executive at CES commented,“We’re experiencing ever increasing energy costs, cost of living issues and seeing the impact locally of climate change. Over the past decade the Community Energy sector across the south east has grown and is building a strong voice for communities who want to be resilient and take charge of their energy. The Community Energy South team are working with communities and local authorities to empower people to join this movement. We look forward to hosting this forum to support community energy groups to deliver more inspiring local renewable energy projects, support local homes to decarbonise, and build local solutions to our climate crisis.”

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One of the most recent community energy projects to come to fruition in Sussex is at Newhaven Port thanks to Brighton Energy Cooperative. See here for more information. Community Energy arrives at Newhaven Port! - Brighton Energy Cooperative

Community Energy Groups and local authorities working together at Lewes 2030 conferenceCommunity Energy Groups and local authorities working together at Lewes 2030 conference
Community Energy Groups and local authorities working together at Lewes 2030 conference

Steph Mills, Project Manager for Ouse Valley Climate Action, said: “It’s wonderful to see this forum taking place as there’s so much local communities can do in terms of developing greener energy and energy efficiency. It’s something that helps the local environment, as well as potentially reducing household bills – a win-win that will help to build resilience to climate change.”

Chris, CEO of Ovesco, one of the first Community Energy groups in the country to get established said: “We are delighted to participate in this forum and share our experiences of creating powering up projects – like the free solar we installed on local schools such as Ringmer Academy and the our powering down projects – the Lewes Energy Rooms where local people can come and get free advice about how to eco retrofit their homes – or simply stop wasting money on their bills. This forum is the first of many events we will be arranging across the district in the next 18 months.

“Our next one is the Eco Extravaganza 18th May, Lewes Town Hall. Save the date! And keep following us, we have lots more projects planned to help local people reduce local carbon emissions and make their homes future fit.”

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Lewes Climate Hub at Lewes House, 32 High Street BN7 2LU is an independent alliance of community groups and organisations in and around the town. Together the groups take local action to tackle the global climate crisis.

The Hub includes a dedicated energy room, run by local community energy company OVESCo. It can advise on energy bills and usage, clean energy and retrofitting homes and businesses. See here for opening times. Energy Advice | Ovesco

To register for the Community Energy Regional Forum on 21 March 2024, you can book your place here. Regional Forum Programme here