With Smart Energy Marketplace fast approaching on Thursday 17th March, RegenSW have written this Blog article about the current energy situation and why supporters of community energy should attend.

There is no bigger challenge currently for householders than trying to reduce their energy bills. The ‘big six’ continue to monopolize the market, and with resource scarcity, threats of global warming and ever increasing costs of electricity, it makes sense that people want to take control themselves. And community energy is one answer.

Community energy has provided an opportunity for local people to access the value of their local renewable energy sources. Across the south west we are seeing people coming together with their neighbours to take action on their energy bills. Research from Regen SW indicates that the south west spends almost £3 billion on electricity each year. Valuable tax payer’s money is leaving the local economy but community-owned schemes provide an option to keep the profits generated from energy within the community.

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) is a leading example of a local community taking action to cut their energy bills and get cheaper electricity. A new “Sunshine Tariff Trial” is in place where households in the Wadebridge area will pay as little as 5 pence per kilowatt hour – about a third of the price charged by most utility companies. Wadebridge found it was spending approximately £10 million on energy, and the Sunshine Tariff plans to reduce that cost and retain money within the local economy. This money can then be invested to improve local facilities.

At the heart of these new approaches is a better understanding of the value of power and how to maximise it. With the government’s recent measures to cut subsidies, many people are wondering if renewable energy is still viable. In fact the market has reacted to subsidy changes by developing new approaches and business models that mean there are still opportunities.

Communities and households looking to find out more about these opportunities and how to reduce their energy bill in a charging market should come along to Smart Energy Marketplace at Sandy Park on 17 March. We want as many people along as possible so we are offering members of community energy group’s significant discounts to attend the event. Find out more here www.smartenergymarketplace.co.uk or contact Charlotte: 01392 494399 or cwallis@regensw.co.uk