The Power of Community Energy

On Thursday 30th June we held our annual conference. Thank you to everyone who attended but a special thank you to our speakers for your time and expertise, especially our keynote Deputy Mayor Shirley Rodrigues.

The Power of Community Energy’ will highlight some of the exciting installations already in place, cutting edge new projects pushing the boundaries of what community energy can do, and ways in which groups are working with their local communities and councils to bring forward new opportunities. CEL’s conference is taking place during London Climate Action Week (LCAW) which runs from 25 June to 3 July.


Slides available here

Catch up with the recording here:

Background to conference

This year’s news has been dominated by concerns over our present and future supplies of energy– and most of all the cost of that energy. Over a period of six months, households have experienced a doubling in the price for gas and a 50% increase for electricity with further prices rises expected this autumn.

The Government has responded by saying that it will – finally – unlock the UK’s full potential for wind and solar power, but is also betting on new nuclear power stations and the production of hydrogen as potential future solutions. The focus however remains in the main on large-scale energy ‘supply side’ options and the government’s strategies have been strongly criticised for their lack of action on promoting energy efficiency. Support for local action on energy – from councils and community energy groups – is entirely absent from national plans.

Meanwhile, over the past five years London has experienced a quiet revolution with increasing numbers of community organisations developing their own solutions to the climate and energy crisis. These groups have been delivering renewable, energy efficiency and energy advice projects across the capital, supported through the Mayor’s London Community Energy Fund (LCEF) and also more recently by growing numbers of London boroughs wanting to activate local community participation in helping tackle the climate emergency.

This new drive on community energy over the past few years has helped bring forward more than 100 projects across the city. However we know the potential is much bigger: we believe that groups could deliver 1,000 projects in London by the end of this decade, helping support lower energy bills, a more secure energy system, and driving new jobs and new investment in communities across London.

However to achieve this level this goal we need to see:

  • More Londoners – and a greater diversity of Londoners – participating, supporting and investing in community energy
  • Closer collaboration between councils and community groups on local energy and climate projects
  • Better recognition by policy makers of the benefits of community energy in help address the energy and climate crises.