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Wales Office Minister Highlights Government Boost To Community Energy

Baroness Randerson hosts meeting on local energy projects

Published on 02 April 2014

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by Baroness Randerson


London, England

Experts from the energy industry, third sector and environment sector met with Wales Office Minister, Baroness Jenny Randerson yesterday (31 March) to discuss how local communities in Wales can take control of their energy bills by setting up their own local energy projects.

In January this year, the UK Government published its Community Energy Strategy which sets out the role that communities can play in helping to meet the UK’s energy and climate change challenges, including supporting a sustainable and secure energy system; reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions; and lowering consumer bills.

As part of her commitment to promote the Big Society in Wales, Baroness Randerson welcomed the group of experts to the University of South East Wales in Newport, to examine the opportunities and challenges local groups face when setting up community energy projects.

Baroness Randerson said:

“Community led action, such as collective switching, gives people the power to bring down bills and encourages competition within the energy market. That is why I wanted to bring this group together to better understand what work is already being undertaken to support community energy projects, to highlight successful projects, and to determine what more can be done to encourage more communities to become involved in community energy.

“Wales is perfect for small scale renewable energy cooperation between companies and the local community, and I want to encourage groups of people across the country to participate in a community energy movement and take real control of their energy bills.”

Baroness Randerson welcomed Lucy Morgans from the Department for Energy and Climate Change to the meeting who provided the group with an overview of the strategy. Welsh Government officials were also in attendance to outline the schemes available to support community energy projects in Wales.

The group also heard from Andrew Rowland who highlighted his own personal experiences of setting up his own community energy project, Ecodyfi in the Dyfi Valley. Of the event he said:

“I was pleased with the event, it was a frank discussion and the Minister was keen to understand the reality of what is needed to grow the community energy sector.”

Baroness Randerson added:

“The key aim of the Big Society is to help people to come together within their communities to improve their lives.

“There is already a number of existing community energy projects in Wales, like Ecodyfi, and there is clearly an appetite for more to be set up. I want to make sure the UK Government and Welsh Government work more closely together to provide communities with the assistance and advice necessary to enable them to bring local energy projects to fruition.”

For more information about this press release visit https://www.gov.uk/government/news/wales-office-minister-highlights-government-boost-to-community-energy



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Posted 2014-04-02 12:10:00