Our energy group has been preparing for the setting up of a local energy club over the last 12 months. Following a three-stage consultation involving the public and key local interests last year, a Local Area Energy Plan was produced showing the potential to sustainably generate a good proportion of the electricity needs in Settle, Giggleswick and Langcliffe – the club area being determined by the the geographical coverage of the relevant electricity sub station.
Through joining a local co-operative club, members who generate their own electricity can sell surplus to other (consumer) members. Everyone benefits because the club agrees the prices each year to be fair to those who have or will spend money on panels and cheaper to consume than the big electricity suppliers charge. The cost of electricity units will vary at some times of day, encouraging everyone to even out demand. It is all worked out through your smart meter.
The club will need a small number of volunteer directors and is securing funding to employ a paid, part-time and short term advisor on a freelance basis, to get the club off the ground as a separate organisation from ACE.
Sarah Wiltshire, ACE’s Co-ordinator and energy group member, said:
“Settle Hydro and Settle Area Swimming Pool’s solar panels are already good examples of co-operation and community involvement to reduce dependence on the big energy providers who need to make profit and incur large energy losses transmitting electricity over long distances. The new club can get a lot more people involved and easily reduce the carbon footprint of the area.”
“We have recently commissioned a ‘roof-top’ solar survey which shows that savings could be made with bulk purchase and installation of solar panels on large buildings and clusters of houses and we encourage householders, businesses, community organisations to get involved – the results will be available soon at an in-person session and hosted on ACE’s website. Whilst we will be starting with solar energy we hope that there will also be local landowners interested in small and medium scale wind generation to sell to the club in winter and dull weather, and scope for small-scale hydro, too.”
ACE’s Energy group would really like to hear from you with any questions, and how to get involved and become a club member. You can contact us on email@example.com.
Image credit: Commercial roof-top solar installation © Forster Energy – Copy by solartradeassociation is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.