A new report on the State of the Community Energy Sector in Wales shows that community energy organisations are working tirelessly to lessen the burden of the cost of living, by focusing on energy efficiency in communities.
In 2021, twenty community energy organisations reached 22,453 people, saving £222,000 for individuals and communities through energy efficiency activity.
These services concentrate on many different factors while trying to better energy efficiency – organisations give advice on draught-proofing, reglazing, insulation, and energy efficient lighting.
One project that delivers this work at a grassroots level is Y Dref Werdd in Ffestiniog. The project is led by people from the community, and they work with local people to create an understanding of local needs with regards to energy.
Their drop-in centre works as an accessible point of contact to take action against local fuel poverty, signposting the support that’s available to people, and providing tailored energy efficiency and energy saving advice
Y Dref Werdd also provide emergency vouchers for people with pre-paid meters, hold innovative initiatives such as local workshops creating draught proofing snakes, and offer a free ‘bulb swap’ scheme that replaces old bulbs for energy efficient LED bulbs.
Gwydion ap Wynn from Y Dref Werdd said:
It’s a challenging situation here in Blaenau, as we face a cost-of-living crisis. The drop-in centre is incredibly busy, and we have to prioritise the most vulnerable. As the cost-of-living crisis deepens, we expect things to worsen.
Community energy organisations in every part of Wales are placing energy efficiency as a priority in their community benefit activity. In the Dyfi Valley, the surplus of Bro Dyfi Community Renewables is used to support local projects that tackle the climate emergency and carbon emissions, particularly those that benefit low-income households. Up to £1,000 in funding is available to support energy efficiency projects, as well as other fields – renewable energy for community halls, sustainable transport, and well-being to name just a few.
Robert Proctor, Business Development Manager at Community Energy Wales said:
This is a clear indication of the direct social impact of community energy organisations, as they try to alleviate ordinary people’s living costs, and increase their confidence in community intiatives as a solution to the energy crisis and climate emergency.
These are just some of the examples of how communities in Wales are helping to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and reach net zero, highlighted as part of CEW’s state of the sector report (launched today). The report looks at the impact the community energy sector has on communities in Wales, providing an insight into how communities are able to come together to tackle some of the greatest issues of our times.