Plymouth Energy Community shows the true power of a community coming together to make change happen. Formed by local residents in 2013 with support from Plymouth City Council, the Community Benefit Society aims to create a fair, affordable, low-carbon energy system with local people at its heart.
Now 1000 members strong, they have worked quickly to establish partnerships to allow their ‘Energy Team’ to offer a range of services, including community training, home visits, insulation and heating schemes, one to one and community support to those struggling with energy issues or fuel poverty. They have already helped over 20,000 households, provided 2,200 home visits and saved households over £1.2million in the first year since advice/installation. Establishing PEC Renewables in 2014, they have raised £2.4 million in community shares; providing 6MW of free solar PV panels to schools and community organisations. Surplus income from this locally owned renewable energy generation provides funding for projects addressing fuel poverty and carbon emissions. PEC encourage community participation through their PEC Pals training programme, resulting in volunteer-led projects such as a curtain bank and art and energy-working group. It really is all about people power!