Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) have been shortlisted for two Green Energy Awards.
The Council, which has been instrumental in the start-up and continued support of PEC, has been shortlisted for the Most Proactive Public Sector Body category at the awards, organised by Regen South West. The Council helped establish PEC in June 2013 with a start-up grant and loan and continues to support them. PEC is a Community Benefit Society owned and run by its’ 1100 members to help residents transform how they buy, use and generate power in the city.
In addition PEC has been shortlisted in the Best Energy Efficiency Building Scheme for its joint work with British Gas and the Council on a city-wide external wall insulation programme. Any Plymouth homeowner with a solid-walled property could be eligible for £3900 towards the cost of external wall insulation. Committed to reducing carbon emissions, energy use, and energy bills, this scheme aims to help approximately 700 private properties within Plymouth by September 2016. In addition, they are now helping Plymouth residents on qualifying benefits access free replacement boilers.
Alistair Macpherson, Chief Executive of PEC, said: “We are very pleased that the Council and PEC have been shortlisted for these awards – the more people that hear about our service the more people we can help.”
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Co-operatives and Housing for Plymouth City Council, said: “PEC is one of Plymouth City Council’s great success stories in terms of providing more people in the city with affordable warmth and advice, and one of our completed pledges.
“PEC is also a great example of how the Council works cooperatively with people and communities to give them more control, and we are delighted to be shortlisted for these awards for the second year in a row.”
The Awards take place at the Bath Assembly Rooms on Wednesday 25 November.
For more information about the awards click here: www.regensw.co.uk
For more information about PEC’s services, visit www.plymouthenergycommunity.com
Achievements of PEC include:
- Fuel Debt Advice Service – received more than 400 referrals and cleared in excess of £100,000 debt, now covers Devon and Cornwall.
- Switching service – providing bespoke tariff advice to more than £600 households.
- Training and volunteer programme – 44 trained volunteers (4 completed Level 3 City and Guilds in Energy Awareness). In eight months, reached more than 1700 households. Residents with additional care and support needs make up 64% of all home visits conducted so far. Householders are saving £203 a year by switching and £141through advice.
- Promotion of energy efficiency grants – combined with ECO and Green Deal Finance. Delivering £3million Green Deal Community funded external wall insultion scheme: to date, approximately 23,000 households have been targeted, city wide, scheme now in place. This will save residents approximately £1.9m over the lifetime of the measures that have been put in place. Development of a free boiler scheme to help those in receipt of qualifying benefits with inefficient boilers.
- Community-owned renewable energy – established PEC Renewables in 2014 to fund and install community owned renewable energy installations. £1.45m community investment has resulted in 28 schools and community buildings benefitting from free solar. Planning permission recently granted for ground-mounted array large enough to power 1000 homes in partnership with Four Greens Community Trust.
- PEC recently won 2015 Observer Award for Best Community Energy Project.