Power for the People – Introducing Community Energy

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Find out how a renewable-energy scheme owned by the community could benefit your area, organisation or business at the Power for the People event.

You’ll hear first hand from the people behind some very different community-energy schemes in Cumbria and further afield.

Topping the bill is Gordon Cowtan, who helped set up one the UK’s best-known schemes, in the Scottish village of Fintry. Gordon, from the Fintry Development Trust, will tell you the amazing story of the village’s journey towards a zero-carbon, zero-waste community, which all began with a wind turbine. Gordon is also the author of the new book ‘Community Energy: A Guide to Community-Based Renewable-Energy Projects’.

Closer to home, you’ll hear how local people came together to form Community Energy Cumbria, successfully setting up a hydro scheme at Killington Reservoir and working in partnership with the Lake District National Park Authority to install a large-scale solar PV scheme on the roof of its headquarters.

Of course, installing your renewable energy equipment is just part of the story. Connecting into the grid in Cumbria is where Electricity North West comes in. Helen Seagrave, its newly appointed community energy manager, will tell you how that side of it works and how ENW plans to support community schemes.

This event is ideal for:

  • Anyone mulling over an idea for a community-energy scheme, and bringing people together to make it happen
  • Community organisations, like parish councils, community-led housing groups, residents’ associations, or sports or hobby groups with land or buildings that could be used for a community-energy installation
  • Businesses with land or premises, who want to strengthen ties with their local community and potentially save money on their energy bills
  • Public-sector organisations wanting to explore the income-generation potential of a community-energy scheme

Priority will be given to attendees from South Lakeland.


An introduction to community energy What it is, the range of options, successes, opportunities and challenges
Rhona Pringle, Cumbria Action for Sustainability

Sun on a hot HQ roof Photovoltaic panels on the Lake District National Park Authority’s headquarters – a public-sector perspective on a partnership with Community Energy Cumbria
Martin Leath, Lake District National Park Authority

Community energy meets business What a community energy company needs to consider when planning and negotiating with a business
Phil Davies, Community Energy Cumbria & Burneside Community Energy

Supporting community energy Electricity North West’s approach
Helen Seagrave, Electricity North West

And now for something completely different The pioneering approach taken by Fintry to a whole-community approach to community-owned low-carbon energy
Gordon Cowtan, Fintry Development Trust

Organised by Cumbria Action for Sustainability, with support and funding from South Lakeland District Council.