Plymouth has been shortlisted for two regional Green Energy awards.
The South West Green Energy Awards have shortlisted Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Energy Community for two categories at the award ceremony, organised by Regen SW.
The shortlist was compiled from a flood of over 100 nominations for inspiring companies, projects and people pioneering the development of sustainable energy in the south west of England.
Plymouth City Council is a finalist in the category of Most Proactive Public Sector for its work in supporting green energy in the city through an £11m investment in low carbon solutions for its own estate and also via the Plymouth Energy Community (PEC).
PEC themselves have also been shortlisted for Best Community Initiative for its work as a member’s co-operative aiming to provide long-term solutions to rising energy prices and carbon emissions. Since its launch in June 2013, PEC’s achievements include the development of a Fuel Debt Advice Service, the promotion of energy efficiency grants, and a switching service offering energy tariff advice to Plymouth households. Other schemes include Plymouth’s first solar share offer enabling community-owned renewable energy and more recently, a new volunteering panel.
The shortlisted nominees will now go through to the final stage of judging, where an expert panel of judges will select this year’s winners. The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony and dinner, attended by over 300 industry leaders, which is held in the Bath Assembly Rooms on 25 November 2014.
Councillor Chris Penberthy said: “We are delighted that both Plymouth City Council and Plymouth Energy Community have been shortlisted for these prestigious awards. The Council has set out to reduce emissions from our own properties by 20% by 2015, alongside a 30% reduction in city wide emissions by 2020. These targets have been embedded at the highest level within the Council’s corporate plan. These supported the creation in 2012 of a dedicated staff resource in the form of a Low Carbon City Team.
“Over the past 18 months the work to implement these targets has included an £11m investment in our own estate, the creation of Plymouth Energy Community and PEC Renewables, the introduction of a Green Workplace Scheme, and an innovative partnership with British Gas to promote uptake of domestic energy efficiency measures.
“We also recently launched Our Plymouth, a new volunteer scheme which aims to recruit Energy Champion volunteers to talk to local people about making their properties more energy efficient and saving money on fuel. This will not only help tackle fuel poverty in the city but also help the environment.”
The political ambition and commitment to the green agenda is reflected in the council’s current manifesto; 4 out of 50 pledges relate to energy:
- Support the expansion of Plymouth Energy Community (PEC)
- Ensure the street lights are kept on by replacing old bulbs with new energy-saving and greener LED lights that will save money, reduce light pollution and save 3,200 tonnes of carbon a year
- Identify more sites and locations for green energy generation especially for solar panels
- Continue the multi-million pound investment through the ECO initiative to bring affordable warmth to people who live in private rented housing as well as housing association tenants
About Regen South West
Regen SW is a not for profit company working to enable business, local authorities and other organisations to deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency and build a prosperous low-carbon economy in the south west of England. www.regensw.co.uk.
About Plymouth Energy Community
Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) was established in 2013 with significant support from Plymouth City Council and has been nationally recognised for its innovation and achievements. The 700+ member strong cooperative aims to give Plymouth residents the power to transform how they buy, use and generate energy.
The cooperative provides a number of services addressing fuel poverty and energy efficiency, as well as enabling community owned renewable energy in the city. Funds generated from its solar panel scheme ensure longevity to provide community benefit for years to come. Further information at www.plymouthenergycommunity.com