Maintaining Momentum in Bristol Community Energy: Project report, June 2013

Caroline M Bird, Rupert A J Alcock, Bronwen M Morgan, Morag A McDermont

Research output: Book/ReportOther report

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The UK energy landscape in 2012/13 is at a pivotal point with the launch of the ‘Green Deal’ and other Government policy initiatives particularly designed to encourage energy efficiency and small scale renewable generation in ways not previously seen at the domestic scale. However, green energy policy rarely connects or co-ordinates with community activism. In Bristol, local community
energy groups were particularly successful in securing grants from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) at the start of 2012, with the support of two crucial broker organisations – the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and the Bristol Energy Network (BEN). The City Council has also secured funding from DECC to pilot Green Deal type mechanisms; and European funding for energy initiatives. All of these put the city in a unique position to further develop community engagement in green energy policy at a local level. This report considers the potential for interaction, the (potential) roles of broker organisations and draws on recent experiences for the lessons learnt.
The project looked at the following key questions:
 ‘What structures, processes and practical arrangements best allow brokers to continue to ‘manage up and manage down’?
 ‘Specifically, in the Bristol context, what are CSE and BEN’s roles in acting as brokers between energy policy frameworks and community energy groups?’
 ‘How can BEN harness community energy in ways that continue to both engage
communities and constructively link with (ideally even shape) complex formal policy initiatives (such as the Green Deal)?’
The report contains a number of sections looking at particular areas of community energy from background research, to the particular issues in Bristol, comparisons with other sectors and the future opportunities and challenges for community energy.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Bristol
Commissioning bodyBristol Energy Network
Number of pages37
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • community energy
  • intermediary organisation
  • knowledge brokers


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