Exeter Community Energy invites local groups to apply for cash to help them power up

Community Fund seeks applications for energy saving and fuel poverty projects

Exeter, Devon, December 6, 2018. This year, Exeter Community Energy (ECOE) has enabled talented kids to brighten Exeter High Street with their busking – and now we want to help more groups. With funds earned from our clean electricity generation, ECOE’s Community Fund is energising local groups in Exeter and East Devon, with £4,100 now available. This fund is available for local community groups to apply for financing for projects that help to save energy and/or ease fuel poverty. Full application details are below.

The Music in Devon Initiative (MIDI) has provided a great example of what the 2017 Community Fund money enabled. In August, they launched their solar-powered PA, which as well as displacing fossil fuel-powered energy allows them to perform in off-grid locations. MIDI initially demonstrated it at St Sidwell’s Community Centre, with local musicians playing to passers-by on the High Street, and later used it at Exeter’s Street Arts Festival. 

‘The SoundTribe project has made great use of the solar PA,' explains MIDI director Nick Hall. That includes high street busking sessions featuring The Magnetic Meteors, a group of musicians aged from 8 to 11. ‘Having the PA has enabled them to gain confidence and experience in a live busking scenario,’ Hall says. ‘They have gone down really well with the public.’

Also from the 2017 grants, Wonford Community and Learning Centre installed a new feedback display that provides information about how much electricity their ECOE community-owned solar installation is generating. Pinhoe Road Baptist Church installed replacement LED lighting in one of their large meeting rooms, saving on their fuel bills.

The ECOE 2018 Community Fund is open for applications now and will close on January 10th 2019 at 5pm. We will hold a collaborative fund allocation event on January 30th 2019, to which all applicants that meet our criteria will be invited to present their proposals. ECOE members, directors and supporters will be invited alongside representatives from each of our rooftop solar sites, local community groups and local statutory organisations to this event. They will hear the proposals and then work out a way to allocate the funds that is best for all involved.

If you have any queries email Patrick Devine-Wright at patrick@ecoe.org.uk. The details regarding who can apply, for what and our criteria for the allocation of the grants can be found in our guidance notes, and the application form is here.

Exeter Community Energy (ECOE) is an innovative social enterprise that enables local people to take ownership of renewable energy projects. As a community-owned co-op, we want to benefit the city, its people and the environment. This involves sharing the financial benefits between shareholders, a fund for community projects and investment in further energy projects. For more information please visit our website.