17 Oct 2023

Community and local energy North West

Power network operator awards huge funds to North West organisations

Helen Seagrave at Halton Hydro, a previous winner of the fund

North West groups and organisations have been given a share of more than £80,000 to help support the region’s energy needs through local community schemes.  

Power network operator Electricity North West has awarded the funds to six projects from its popular Powering our Communities scheme.  

The fund, now in its sixth year, supports the development of community and local energy initiatives in the region to help make them a reality.  

After handing out just over £83,000 in this round of funding, through its Powering out Communities scheme, Electricity North West has awarded more than £500,000 to 39 groups and organisations across the region.  

Helen Seagrave, Electricity North West’s community energy manager, said: “We understand and recognise the role community energy has to play in the North West.  

“It’s a key fundamental to ensuring our region meets its future energy needs and net zero targets. Ensuring those targets are met requires everybody to play their part and the winning projects will undoubtedly benefit thousands of people in the North West.” 

Community energy are local and community-led projects or initiatives to reduce, manage, generate or purchase energy. This covers anything from providing energy saving advice to installing solar panels, heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points. 

In Rochdale, Deaf Rhinos who cover North Manchester, have been awarded £9,000 for a project which aims to empower and engage individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing in the transition to a low carbon future. 

Meanwhile, more than £44,000 has been awarded to three projects across Lancashire as Community Energy Preston has been awarded £15,000 to carry out feasibility studies on third party sites to speed the development of approximately one megawatt of community owned solar. 

Brookfield Spaceplace has also been awarded £15,000 to develop a new energy cooperative which will help householders on the Brookfield estate in Preston make their homes more energy efficient. Whilst in Hyndburn, The Prospects Foundation have been given £14,054 to help community organisations in reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills.  

In Cumbria, Cleator Moor Celtic have £15,000 to help install solar panels and electric vehicle charging points and South Lakeland Action on Climate Change have been awarded £15,000 to roll out a project which will help create awareness and demand for a range of individual and community low carbon solutions with the overall aim of moving to electricity as a heat source.  

“We were really impressed by the range of applications we received,” added Helen Seagrave. 

“The approved projects will undoubtedly make a difference in their local communities, and I can’t wait to see the outcomes.” 

To further add to Electricity North West’s support of community energy sector they will be the headline sponsor at this year’s Community Energy Awards 2023 which aims to celebrate exceptional achievements in community energy.  

The event recognises innovative projects, inspiring leaders, and impactful initiatives that are shaping the future of community energy. By showcasing diverse efforts and successes, the awards provide a unique opportunity for new connections, inspiration, and ideas to emerge within the sector. For more information on the event visit Community Energy Awards 2023 | Community Energy England.