Workshop Notes: A reality check on cross Bristol community energy projects and the best options for powering up and powering down our city


Workshop Description

We all have limited time and energy for community energy projects. However some projects might be easier to deliver collaboratively by groups across Bristol, and some projects have potential to generate revenue which could pay for our time. This session will be facilitated by Bristol Energy Co-op and will be a chance to discuss opportunities for cross-Bristol projects. A synthesis of the opportunities identified in the LEAF energy assessments together with a summary of post-LEAF opportunities discussed at the BEN meeting in June (including neighbourhood planning, street energy advisers, bulk buying) will be used as headlines for discussion. The aim is to carry out a reality check on how possible these opportunities are to deliver in real life, and the likely routes to making them happen in terms of time commitment; people-power; financial constraints; and how existing knowledge, experience and expertise can be built on.

Notes from the workshop:

Thanks everyone who came!  Hope some of the ideas take off!

In the first section of the workshop we came up with the following ideas for projects – which haven't been volunteered to be taken forward by anyone yet… anyone game?  Feel free to take them on, or maybe even comment on this news item!

– Land use for livestock – vegan or vegetarian – and city farms
– how much space is needed per 'unit' of nutrition?  demonstration
– measure energy demand area by area, and street by street, maybe have a bit of friendly competition!
– something on transport – community led transport provision, and electrification of transport, especially public transport
– reducing emissions from busses, and improving air quality
– District heating
– reduce waste of energy – behaviour change
– engaging businesses, asking them to make public statements about energy conservation to encourage others
– Outreach to other community groups – building on workshop with single parent action network in Easton, done by Easton Energy Group and CSE. Offer workshops to e.g. rotary, lions, W.I, neighbourhood watch..) Perhaps the City Council has a list of groups? Website?
– improving awareness, home energy
– setting up a centre that people can visit, more central than the Create Centre.  Solar tree in the city centre?
– bulk buy
– neighbourhood plans
– solar PV
– map of Bristol waste streams
– Exhibit at Bristol's city farms – through federation@Bedminster
– Regenerate Bristol's water lift
– groups contact energy suppliers re smart meters. Write letters 'where are our meters?'
– District heating – planning stage – Southampton example (coops are a way of giving consumer protection)

In the second section, we agreed to the following actions:
– Advertise Mayoral Hustings on BEN website 
– Have comments board for ideas for Mayoral policies on energy, also on BEN website 
– Communicate with Mayoral candidates 
– Attend Mayoral Hustings 
– Research the properties of Ivy for air quality 
– Research the potential for vertical gardens including case study from London

–  Ask Wessex Water if they have the capacity to produce more biogas to be used for transport.   Also contact  Also, council waste, and link with community groups.
– Bristol Power Down campaign, with Business in the Community 
– merseyside travel

If any of these ideas inspire you, and you'd like to get involved, you should be able to post a comment to this news item expressing your interest!