Core Activities and Priorities


The activities of BEN as an umbrella organisation supporting its membership of community energy (CE) organisations across the Bristol area fall into four priority areas which are summarized 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

PRIORITY: build signed-up membership –target of 20 members before the end of the year


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. Energy Champions, recruiting volunteers, new groups

•       Project development

PRIORITY: build capacity/groups’resilience, including developing training programme with CSE and Bristol 2015 bid


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

PRIORITY: improve visibility locally/nationally, develop a set of publicity materials and collective view


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

PRIORITY: continue to work with OVO and Bristol City Council as well as seeking to identify other sustainable ongoing sources of funding and income