REPOWERBalcombe was born of the inspiring belief that communities can take responsibility for their own energy supply and that this can be done in a way that is clean and sympathetic to the environment. In September 2013 an open meeting was held at local Bramble Hall with a view to set up a community renewable energy project in Balcombe. Inspired by the positivity of the project, a group of around 14 locals started to lay foundations toward making this a reality.
Our mission is simple: we aim to generate the equivalent to 100% of Balcombe’s electricity demand through community-owned locally-generated renewable energy.
We have had many positive responses from landowners in the surrounding area and key local community buildings whose support will be vital to this project fulfilling its aim, and who stand to gain from significantly lower electricity bills. The energy harvested by REPOWERBalcombe will be fed into the national grid, making our village proportionately self sufficient whilst helping to increase the overall amount of renewable energy in our national electricity supply mix.
Our intention is to maintain local control of our village energy project by raising the required funds for our first phase of work through a community share issue. This will open first for people living in West Sussex, and only afterwards to investors from further afield. We hope you will want to become a shareholder and member of the co-operative. By developing and owning our own power generating capacity locally we will also be helping to power Balcombe’s local economy.
And it won’t only be the host buildings and shareholders who benefit. A portion of the profits from REPOWERBalcombe will be fed back into a community benefit fund which will be used to reduce our collective energy spend (for example insulation and recycling initiatives), to improve our local environment, and to develop other local renewable energy resources.
This is about our community and how we can live comfortably and responsibly. REPOWERBalcombe will showcase what is possible when a community comes together. We see this as the start of a repowering the present for the future and hope you will be part of it!