Supporting community action on energy – training and resources



The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) has extensive experience in training community groups on energy projects and low carbon planning, including community-led renewable energy schemes, energy efficiency projects, fuel poverty and behaviour change initiatives. Our training covers both the practicalities of setting up and managing community energy initiatives, as well as ‘how to’ sessions on the delivery of short and long term projects in your community. The list below gives a flavour of our courses:

Introduction to community energy projects | Setting up and managing a renewable energy project | Options and opportunities for low carbon retrofit | Funding for community energy projects | Contracts, agreements and tendering | Community share offers | Choosing a governance structure
Sustainable energy options in the landscape | Supporting low carbon planning and policy | Low carbon behaviour change in theory and in practice | Consulting with your community | Recruiting and working with volunteers | Understanding and addressing fuel poverty
Energy audits for community buildings | Home energy audits | Basic energy assessment of a community building | Community energy champions | Understanding switching energy tariffs | Draught-proofing workshop | Setting up a bulk buy scheme | Understanding grants and subsidies for low carbon improvements

We have a huge bank of resources to support training, including activities for community groups who want to run their own training or use our tried and tested materials to develop projects in their area. We can run bespoke training courses as well as ‘off the shelf’ training. Costs for training sessions vary but we make every effort to keep costs to a minimum for members of community energy groups and we are sometimes able to offer free training under one of our funded programmes. Contact Anna Watts, or call 0117 9341400 for more details.


The Source |
The Source is an online collection of all our favourite downloadable guides and tools for community energy. It contains material produced by us, by our friends, and even by our competitors. We reckon The Source is the best place to find the most useful stuff for community energy projects.

PlanLoCaL |
PlanLoCaL provides communities with the tools to embark on their own low-carbon projects, whether insulating the village hall or developing a £1m wind farm – or anything in between. The website contains reams of guidance on setting up a community renewable energy project, a local energy efficiency scheme (including making use of the Green Deal), or engaging with the local planning system. And there are dozens of guidance videos to watch.


Our ever-expanding list of information sheets on domestic energy are free to download and distribute. These leaflets are a fantatic resource to support local energy advice services and to use at community events. It means you can give householders reliable information to take away and because you can always grab the relevant info sheet you don't have to be an expert in every topic. They are all free to download but have proved so popular that we now provide print runs of bespoke leaflets (to include your logo) for local authorities, housing associations and smaller organisations – contact us for details.

And we have recently produced easy-to-read versions of our advice leaflets, Somali translations, Polish translations and even easy-to-read Polish advice leaflets. Can you tell just how much we want to get this advice out there?


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