Council’s support for city energy projects lauded at national awards.

Labour-run Bristol City Council’s backing for projects that help the city achieve its carbon neutral targets has been recognised nationally at the Community Energy Awards 2019.

The council clinched the Local Authority of the Year Award at a ceremony at London City Hall for its work supporting local energy schemes that are contributing towards Bristol’s zero carbon ambitions.

Among programmes to receive council help are around five megawatts (MW) of community-owned solar panels on public buildings and land and investing in Bristol Energy Co-operative’s community-owned solar farm in Lawrence Weston, which is on council land.

Councillor Kye Dudd, Bristol’s Cabinet Member for Energy, Transport and the Green New Deal said: “We’re delighted to have won this award and be recognised for work we do to support community energy groups in the city.

“We’re very proud to be able to work collaboratively with amazing volunteers and communities; together we’re making Bristol a cleaner, greener and healthier city. Sharing our experiences with other councils and community groups across the UK is just one way we can play our part and help deliver a zero carbon future.”

Bristol’s Community Energy Fund has delivered £450,000 of funds to more than 50 community energy projects, including small-scale renewables, behaviour change campaigns and skills programmes. Successful grant applications include the funding of solar panels to support a mobile sensory environment for children with disabilities, a solar panel making workshop for young people and feasibility studies for a hydro-electricity station at Netham Weir.

The awards, organised by Community Energy in England and Wales and sponsored by Co-op Community Energy and the Greater London Authority, celebrate the most innovative and ground-breaking projects in the community energy sector.

While working to create a cleaner, greener energy system focussed on people over profit, community projects pay back investor shareholders, also using surplus profit to create funds to help deliver energy efficiency schemes for local homes and biodiversity projects.

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