Light Bulb

Garve & District Community Energy Group

Question: what is a Community Energy Project? Answer: any energy project which is both developed by, and is for, the benefit of that local community.

Community Energy Project

G&D Energy Group Logo

Many communities across Scotland have undertaken such projects. The Garve and District Community Energy Group (GDCE) were formed to develop similar projects, with the help of the windfarm money, for our community. The aim was to reduce energy costs for households in the Garve and District Community Council area. 

As we all use energy to heat and light our homes, a Community Energy scheme would ensure that everyone benefits from the funds.

Communities across Scotland have found that reducing energy bills is best achieved by improving home energy efficiency and by developing local renewable energy to provide long term community income. Some have developed their own wind turbine or hydro-electric schemes. The income has enabled their residents to install energy efficiency measures and renewable energy in their homes. They have been able to provide grants in addition to funds available from the Government.

GDCE followed this approach to include all properties, owned or rented, large or small and whether residents have or have not already bought into renewable energy government grant schemes.

Over the last couple of years the Energy Group, with funding from LCT, has been exploring options to deliver these objectives. We’ll be working as part of the new Community Development Company to secure funds and make them happen.

Up till now our efforts have been directed towards:

The Garve and District Warmer Homes Scheme

The group can arrange FREE Home Energy visits to any resident within the Garve and District Area. A number of homes have already benefitted from visits. The visits are carried out by Marion from Home Energy Scotland. Marion can help you sort out what you need to do and what you are entitled to apply for to improve your homes energy efficiency and lower your energy bills. To sign up for a free Home Energy visit or to ask any questions about the scheme, please contact us on 01463 417104.

Community Owned Renewable Energy 

The group has explored opportunities to develop a hydro-electric scheme in the area. We’ve also looked into other possibilities for community owned “renewables”. At present however, a community owned generation project does not represent a good investment to the community. This is largely due to the Government ending payments to communities for locally generated energy in April 2019. We’ll be keeping a close eye on what might be on offer in the future.

Energy Grant

In 2017, we set up an annual £250 grant to be made available towards energy costs for all resident households in the district. Of our 172 households, 124 applied for and received the grant. Keep an eye on the website for news of the 2018 grant.

GDCE has been set up as a focal point to engage with residents and develop energy related ideas, suggestions and initiatives. You can contact us and show support and forward your ideas to take the community forward through the website, please leave comments below.

Questions & Comments

Have an opinion on this topic? Leave a comment here. Here's what others have been saying...

John Bedwell said:

Having initiated this group back in 2015, my only regret is that we didn’t identify (or manage to secure funding for) income generating projects when the ‘sun was shining’ (through government renewable grant schemes)!

Having since been an LCT Director, I’ve been very aware of the importance of community engagement and support to ‘justify’ research and make big (legacy scale) projects happen.

Other communities have done it. WE CAN STILL DO IT, and with community support, our new Development Co. (and groups who work within it) can identify, document and justify funding for energy initiatives and other great things in our community.

So come on folks- LETS BE ASPIRATIONAL

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Blair Millen said:

Hear, hear!

What's the next step then? What do we need to do? Do you have an agenda? Do you need ideas? Can we agree a list of tasks and assign these to volunteers? John, you show us what we need to do!

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Sadie-Michaela Harris said:

Hello Energy Group, Is there an update on the 2018 energy grant please? I have been unable to find any thing on this website.

Thank you Sadie

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John Fenwick said:

The Energy Group have applied to LCT for funding to run the 2018 Energy Grant. As soon as we have the funding we'll set the ball rolling. Like last year you can expect the grant to be paid out no later than the beginning of December.

Look out for news on early October.

Also, look out for news of free low energy LED lightbulbs - we'll be in a position to supply them very soon.


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Sue Tarr said:

Just to let everyone know that application forms for the 2018 Energy Rebate are being posted out this week. keep a look out for the envelopes clearly marked from the Energy Group - we would hate to think of them ending up in the bin!

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Sue Tarr said:

We have had some fun sorting out so many different kinds of light bulb for everyone - anyway we hope they make a difference.

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Pamela Morrison said:

Have been enjoying some  great light bulb moments .The warm white light is lovely.Thanks again.

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