18 October 2012
The Church of England is well placed to support community energy
initiatives which will help the fuel poor while supporting energy
projects in the developing world, said Ed Davey, Secretary of State
for Energy and Climate Change today.
He was speaking at a roundtable meeting at Church House,
Westminster to launch the Community Energy Coalition's*
'Manifesto for a community energy revolution'. He added
that the Church was good at motivating people to help build a new
sense of society
The coalition is supported by Shrinking the Footprint the Church
of England's national environment campaign along with other
organisations including the Co-operative, the National Trust, The
National Federation of Women's Institutes and the Campaign to
Protect Rural England.
The Secretary of State spoke of the importance of community
energy initiatives and the Government's commitment to them. He said
that the decline in cost of solar power could help poor communities
in the UK and internationally gain access to cheaper energy with
local ownership. The Church, he said "was particularly well placed
to make those links with the poor".
The Church of England has more than 100 solar installations on
churches across the country including a Brighton Energy
Co-Operative partnership. Renewable heat is also an area of growth
with an increasing number of churches taking advantage of new
technology (GSHP & ASHP & Biomass).
A national conference run by the Archbishops'
Council's Cathedral and Church Buildings Division is being held on
3rd December giving practical guidance to churches keen
to engage with community energy.
David Shreeve the Church of England's National Environment
adviser said: "With a Church of England presence in every community
the Secretary of State is right to comment on the importance of our
churches being well placed to encourage the scaling up of local
renewable projects which puts benefit straight back into
Paul Monaghan, Head of Socials Goals at The Co-operative, said:
"The majority of people in the UK want to see a
massive increase in renewable energy, however, there is a
powerful minority set against this.
Community-owned renewables offer a brilliant way to break
this log jam, and this Manifesto sets out what needs to
happen in order for this to happen. Our towns, villages and
districts are full of hundreds of groups all chomping at the
bit to do their bit to generate and save energy locally and
fight climate change."
The full manifesto can be read at www.uk.coop/energymanifesto
*In February 2012, The Co-operative and Forum for the Future led
the formation of the 'Community Energy Coalition'.
At the Liberal Democrat Conference in September 2012, Ed Davey
MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, said "I want
nothing short of a community energy revolution. Let's start by
buying energy together. But let's also save it and generate it
together. Just look at Germany to see what is possible…Nearly 600
energy co-operatives. So next spring I will bring forward with a
new community energy strategy - so people can and will see the
benefits of a green economy for them".