Last Friday, Mayor George Ferguson launched the Bristol Community Strategy for Energy at a lively Solar Pavilion on College Green. Alongside the strategy Mr Ferguson also launched ‘Bristol Solar City’ – an initiative that aims to make Bristol the UK’s solar capital.
The strategy is the first of its kind in Bristol and the UK and sets out to ‘put communities at the heart of Bristol’s energy system’.The strategy has been developed through the Bristol Energy Network (BEN) with over 50 individuals and groups contributing in the previous six months.
Mayor Ferguson, wearing green trousers for Big Green Week in celebration of winning the title of European Green Capital 2015, recognised that communities will need to play a central role in reducing energy demand and increasing the uptake of renewable energy supply.
Referring to Solar City, the mayor said “Solar City is a huge opportunity for Bristol, started here on solar solstice day. People will be coming to Bristol to see how it’s done.” George said he would wear gold trousers when we hit the target of 1GW installed solar that the Solar City has set itself.
Commenting on the strategy Iris Eiting of BEN said, “This strategy is a big step forward for local communities who want to work together. It acts as a kind of manifesto for community energy in Bristol and the city region showing how to increase community level action on energy and make it more effective.”
The strategy will become a living document that develops over time. It recognises that there is already a significant level of action across the city but that financial and strategic support will make change happen faster. Rapid implementation of the strategy will further place Bristol in good stead for 2015 when it takes on the title of European Green Capital.
Julian Jones, of Bristol Friends of the Earth said, “All too often people feel powerless in the face of rising energy bills and the dominance of big companies. The strategy shows that it doesn’t have to be like this. By working together in our streets and neighbourhoods we can take back control of our energy bills and, increasingly, generate our own power”
To access the strategy document hit the strategy tab above or click here