Support and Advice

What is community energy?

Community energy is the ownership of smaller-scale, locally-based, low carbon energy or heat generating facilities by the local community. These energy facilities use renewable technology such as solar panels, wind turbines, water turbines, and air and ground source heat pumps. Projects can include things like batteries for energy storage, or charging points for electric vehicles. Groups of interested and enthusiastic local people can work together to develop an idea, form an organisation, source funding, and commission technical advice to understand how they can develop a facility that is suitable for their local area and meets their community’s needs.


Local people can also come together to invest into a scheme developed on their behalf by a community energy organisation, or commercial company, to cut their carbon footprint and benefit from lower energy costs or the income generated.

People see community energy as an opportunity to come together and take action to make their lives and their local area more resilient for the future. They want to tackle climate change, they want more control of their energy costs, and they want a way to generate income to benefit local people and the place where they live.

What's the carbon footprint of my community?

Want to know more about the carbon footprint of your local area?
Why not try out Impact, a free digital visualisation tool that helps you understand your community’s carbon footprint. Developed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy, the tool helps to identify the areas where taking action to tackle climate change can make the biggest difference.
Impact works for parishes, wards and local authority areas.
CLICK HERE to access the Impact tool.

Where can I go for support and advice?

Nationwide support

Community Energy England is dedicated to representing and supporting the community energy sector in England and has a membership of over 280 community energy and other stakeholder organisations. Its work is intended to help clear obstacles, create connections between practitioners and stakeholders, and facilitate the work of community energy organisations, thereby benefiting the sector as a whole.

If you are entirely new to community energy, Community Energy England has developed a handy publication for you. Its Getting Started guide provides an overview of the latest resources and links across the Community Energy England website, as well as ten top tips to get the ball rolling. Click HERE to access the Getting Started guide.

For comprehensive advice on developing a community energy project, wherever you are located in the region, visit the How To online support package developed by Community Energy England. This excellent set of resources and guidance supplies all the essentials and more.

Access the How To resources on the Community Energy England website

Centre for Sustainable Energy

The Centre for Sustainable Energy is an independent national charity that shares its knowledge and experience to help people change the way they think and act on energy.  A significant part of the organisation’s work is to support community groups who want to do something about climate change, energy or sustainability. Its website has information and resources dedicated to supporting these groups.

Click the button below to visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy’s website and find out more about their work. This includes: community engagement resources to help local communities initiate changes to tackle the climate crisis, using data and innovation tailored to local issues to increase the impact of community action, and supporting communities to improve the energy efficiency of their local buildings.

Explore the Centre for Sustainable Energy website

Regional support

Community Energy South is an umbrella organisation and regional hub enabling its membership of local community energy groups and community organisations to grow as sustainable low carbon businesses in the South East England. Its aims are to generate and supply local energy, develop local energy services, build community resilience and reduce fuel poverty.

If you are located in Essex, Hampshire, Surrey or the South Downs National Park, you can receive more in-depth support from the Community Energy South Pathways project. Click the button below to find out more.

Find out about the Community Energy South Pathways Project

Support in London

Community Energy London is a not-for-profit organisation, established to support community energy groups in London, and help them share their experience, resources and learning. The organisation aims to mitigate climate change, eradicate fuel poverty in London and improve the city. It has helped a wide range of different types of projects across London and is keen to support new groups. Click the button below to find out more.

Find out more about Community Energy London

How to involve your community

The Centre for Sustainable Energy has developed an approach to community engagement, called Future Energy Landscapes. It is designed to enable local planning authorities and communities to develop ambitious energy plans and policies, while maintaining community support. The resources to run this consultation approach can be downloaded for free from the Centre for Sustainable Energy website. Click the button below to access the resources.

Get the community engagement resources here

What community energy action is happening near me?

Community Energy England has compiled a comprehensive set of national data about community energy groups, projects and their locations, all of which are accessible via an online map.

Click HERE to find out more and access the map.