Saturday 15th September 2012, Big Top @ Creative Commons

The first Bristol Community Energy Forum, held on Saturday 15th September 2012, brought together community energy groups, businesses, the city council and the University of Bristol in the first ever daylong event of its kind in the city.

Hosted in the Big Top @ Creative commons the day was introduced by Councillor Guy Poultney.  Simon Roberts OBE, from The Centre for Sustainable Energy, gave a plenary talk on national developments in the community energy sector, including what DECC might have said if they had been able to make it and were feeling particularly honest that day. 

Tobi Kellner, our second plenary speaker from the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) gave many people something extra to chew on following lunch. His talk, based on CAT’s pioneering report ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ detailed what is needed to ‘power down’ and ‘power up’ the UK. Technically sharp, quick witted and well presented Tobi dispelled many myths around the potential contributions of a variety of renewables.

Seven workshops hosted by local community energy groups alongside contributions from the city council and the University of Bristol completed the day. Detailed workshop descriptions can be found below. Presentations and notes on the workshops can also be found to the right (under downloads).


About Bristol Energy Network

About the network:

The Bristol Energy Network is an umbrella organisation for all community energy groups in Bristol and the surrounding area. It aims to promote community solutions for sustainable energy provision and use by facilitating and promoting the diverse activities and projects undertaken by its community energy group members by

  • cascading news, information and policy updates from local partners and national organisations,
  • acting as a conduit between local groups and external organisations and
  • providing an open platform for the sharing of resources, ideas and debate through regular open meetings. 

The network is strongly action-orientated. It seeks to promote collaboration between existing and new groups for the benefit of all.

Since the network's inception in 2010 it has, amongst other things, been a springboard for the formation of Bristol Green Doors, the launching of the Bristol Energy Co-operative's share offer, the promotion of Demand Energy Equality's Solar Tree, a platform for the sharing of knowledge gained through nine successful Bristol-based Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) grants at the beginning of 2012 and the creation of a Bristol Community Strategy for Energy



The network is a Community Interest Company (CIC) (no. 9077917) limited by guarantee with a large membership. The network has two types of members: voting and non-voting members. 

  • Voting members consist of community energy initiatives in Bristol and the surrounding area. 
  • Non-voting members consist of individuals and organisations interested in the activities of the network. 

Voting members have the right to vote in directors of the organisation. All members are regularly consulted with, on an ongoing and informal basis. To find out how to become a member click here.


Core funding:

The network receives core funding from Bristol City Council (March 2014 – March 2015). This pays for a part time coordinator (0.2 FTE) and a project officer (0.1 FTE), providing a basis for delivering the Community Strategy for Energy.


How did it start?

Bristol Energy Network was created by the founding members of the Easton Energy Group which was formed early in 2009 as a voluntary community energy awareness and advice group based and focussed in the Easton area of Bristol. The founding members of the Easton Energy Group and the Bristol Energy Network were (and still are!) all specialists working in the energy and/or sustainability sector.

We are:

Paul Adams (PhD researcher in bioenergy, Bath University)

Daniel Narayanan (Energy Engineer, Bristol)

David Tudgey (Environmental and Sustainability Consultant, Bristol)

Inigo Uribeechevaria (Energy Assessor, Bristol)


We have also had a considerable amount of help from other individuals such as Stephen Moore, Morgan Griffin, Bridget Newbery, Mark Leach and Jacob Barnes to name just a few.


“In creating and exploring ideas and projects within the Easton Energy Group, we found that a number of other community groups across the city were either partly or entirely focussed on energy awareness also. Previously there has been minimal sharing of information, ideas, resources, and skills across these different groups, and when we dug a little deeper we also found a number of cases where ideas were similar but skills, time and resources had not been shared, hence there was some duplication of work where instead improved collaboration could have made things less time consuming.

We figured that since most other people who formed these groups were like ourselves (working full time, building our careers, trying to keep our relationships and social lives going, etc. etc.), it would be extremely useful for everyone to have a central place to discuss ideas, successes and failures, to share resources, and just to do some friendly networking. Hence the Bristol Energy Network was born.”

Dan Narayanan, founding member of Bristol Energy Network