Learning from others at the Community Energy Forum

 

Workshops and networking for community groups

16 May 2013

On May 11, CSE ran the fourth Bristol & Somerset Community Energy Forum, held at the Genesis Centre, an award-winning sustainable building in Taunton.

Those who came along got to hear first-hand about the experiences of two community energy projects, thanks to Robin Mewes from Wedmore Community Power Co-operative and Hester Watson from Forum 21 in West Somerset.  Each group’s main aims were very different – one a renewable energy project and the other focussing on fuel poverty – but both speakers sparked off a great deal of interesting conversation during the morning session.

Over lunch, the Genesis Centre’s Richard Harper took attendees on a tour of the venue demonstrating a host of traditional, sustainable construction techniques, and some innovative energy efficiency technologies.

 

The afternoon saw CSE’s Dr Nick Banks delivering a fascinating workshop on behaviour change and community engagement. It got everyone talking about their experiences of what does and what doesn’t work when trying to get local people involved, and how to develop an understanding of community needs.

“With community groups spread out over such a large area, events like the Energy Forum really give people the opportunity to find out what everyone else is up to,” said Nick, “and it also gives us the chance to find out what groups need in order to improve our community support programme.”

 

Article originally published by CSE, reproduced with permission.

With plenty of time to explore the centre throughout the day and also quiz members of CSE staff, it provided an ideal platform for groups to learn from others and get one-to-one advice for the projects they’re are currently working on.