Become a member

The Bristol Energy Network is an umbrella organisation for all grassroots community-led energy initiatives in Bristol and the surrounding area.

The network is a Community Interest Company (CIC) 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 become a member please download and complete our basic application form here (115 KB .docx) and return to coordinator@localhost/ben. 


That’s all reasonably straightforward. But what is a ‘community energy initiative’?


Community energy initiatives take many forms, whether formally constituted (as charities, community interest companies, industrial and Provident societies and so on) or informally constituted. The following defines what we understand as ‘community energy initiatives in Bristol and the surrounding area’.

To distinguish community approaches from business or government led approaches we use a matrix based on two dimensions (figure above): (1) along a process dimension community initiatives involve open and participatory decision-making (the y-axis), and (2) along a outcome dimension community initiatives involve local and collective outcomes (the x-axis). Community initiatives may vary on each dimension but in comparison to, for instance, a utility wind farm involve higher degrees of open and participatory decision making whilst the outcomes are locally orientated and of collective value/purpose.

We welcome initiatives that fit within the larger circle ‘C’.

Note the figure comes from a great piece of research by Gordon Walker and Patrick Devine-Wright from 2008.

The definition provides some flexibility to our membership whilst retaining a focus on community-led action for the sustainable provision and use of energy. Please contact us if you would like to discuss becoming a member. The ultimate decision on membership resides with the directors of the network.

Membership application form


 Last updated: 07.05.2014