The activities of BEN, as an umbrella organisation supporting its membership of community energy organisations across the Bristol area, fall into four priority areas which are summarised below.

1. Being the network – bringing people together to share learning and talk, keeping them up to date with developments through open meetings, workshops, newsletters and the website

  • Meetings –quarterly
  • Newsletter –monthly
  • Website –ACTION: update, better navigation, blog
  • Networking across and beyond core CE groups
  • Members –ACTION: ensure relevant groups are members


BEN meeting Feb 2016
BEN meeting February 2016

2. Supporting the network – doing things to stimulate new groups to emerge and join up and helping individual member groups access support and resources to develop their activities

  • Helping groups through training, resources and support to develop membership and activities
  • Mentoring –one group to another
  • Evaluation tools to show the value of projects and activities
  • Identifying funding and long term income potential
  • Capacity building –E.g. recruiting volunteers, new groups
  • Project development


3. Representing the network – being the ‘go-to’body and the visible face of Bristol community energy, presenting beyond community energy audiences, showing the value of community energy and representing Bristol community energy to external organisations

  • Representing groups to suppliers for negotiations on bulk buying
  • Lobbying / negotiating with external bodies
  • Visible face of Bristol Community Energy
  • ‘Go to’ body for information, advice and representation of local CE
  • Presenting information; creating debate
  • Showing the value of CE, and BEN as a network of organisations
  • Drawing together collective value through being the representative organisation


4. Stewarding the network – developing shared resources and opportunities for local/city-wide projects and partnerships

  • Taking forwards the shared vision of the BCSfE
  • Sharing resources to maximize opportunities and outputs
  • Creating opportunities for new initiatives and projects at group and cross-group level
  • Creating partnerships with external organisations
  • Responding to funding opportunities and helping groups generate income


September Solar panel workshop
Solar workshop with BEN members, Ambition Lawrence Weston



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