Forum empowering South East groups to shape an energy future

21 March 24, East Sussex College, Newhaven  – Community Energy England (CEE) in partnership with Community Energy South (CES) hosted the first ever Regional Member Forum empowering south east groups to shape an energy future in their localities. The forum was supported by UK Power Networks and Ouse Valley Climate Action (OVCA).

Shaping an energy future

The forum brought 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. 


Panel Discussion with Emma Lower, Nicola Davidson, Emma Bridge, Whitni Thomas and Otis Harris


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. This first ever Regional Community Energy Forum was a tremendous success and we’re delighted to be supporting community energy groups to deliver more inspiring local renewable energy projects, support local homes to decarbonise, and build local solutions to our climate crisis.

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 

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.

The local group experience

Chris Rowland, CEO of Ovesco, one of the first Community Energy groups in the country to get established said:

We were 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 was 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 in 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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