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Manifesto for a community energy revolution

This manifesto is published jointly by The Co-operative Group and Co-operatives UK and endorsed by members of the Community Energy Coalition. Community energy is a fast growing sector and as new opportunities to support it emerge we will look to include them in future versions of our manifesto. It is based on extensive research and consultation, including:

  • Detailed research into the sector, including two consultation events with energy co-operatives and other experts, and five in-depth case studies, published as Co-operative renewable energy in the UK: a guide to this growing sector (www.uk.coop/renewable)
  • Research by Camco and Baker Tilly, commissioned by The Co-operative Group, into the Green Investment Bank, published as Climate change solutions: the potential for the GIB to support community renewables (http://s.coop/q073)
  • Community Energy Visioning: a project run by Forum for the Future and Carbon Leapfrog for The Co-operative Group, investigating community energy elsewhere in Europe and developing a widely-supported vision for community energy in the UK.

Communities across the UK owning, generating and saving energy together are working for the benefit of all
The manifesto states that community energy can and should:

  • enable all communities collectively to play a substantial role in meeting the UK’s carbon and renewables targets by saving energy and creating a secure, clean and affordable heat and electricity supply;
  • increase the scale of investment in renewable energy and energy saving and attract new individuals, communities and institutions to invest;
  • encourage people to act co-operatively to create sustainable communities and give everyone an equal opportunity to own and control shared assets democratically;
  • respect communities, the landscape and wildlife through genuine stakeholder involvement and management of natural assets for the benefit of current and future generations;
  • increase people’s awareness and support for renewable energy projects and encourage energy saving.