Garve & District Community Energy Group
The Community Energy Project
Many communities across Scotland have undertaken Community Energy projects to meet the challenges of generating their own “green” energy and reducing the amount of energy we waste. The Garve and District Energy Group (GDCE) were formed to develop similar projects, with the help of the windfarm money, for our community. The aim of GDCE is to reduce energy costs for households in the Garve and District Community Council area. If we reduce our carbon footprint as a result, that’s a more than welcome bonus.
As we all use energy to heat, light and power our homes, a Community Energy Scheme would ensure that everyone benefits from secured 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 solar panel, wind turbine or hydro-electric schemes. The income has enabled their residents to install energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems in their homes by funding community grants to help afford Government loans. And of course, the more we switch to using renewables in our community, the more we all work towards a carbon zero community, so important for our future generations.
The Energy Group explores options to deliver these objectives. We work with the Community Development Company to secure funds both from LCT and other sources to make them happen. Our efforts have been directed towards:
The Garve and District Warmer Homes Scheme
GDCE can arrange FREE Home Energy visits to any resident within the Garve and District Area. A number of homes have already benefitted from visits. A significant number have had improvements installed. The visits are carried out by Home Energy Scotland. They will produce a report for you to sort out what you are entitled to apply for and what you need to do to improve your homes energy efficiency and lower your energy bills.
Ewan, our Community Energy Officer, can help you through the whole process. To sign up for a free Home Energy visit or to ask any questions about the scheme, please contact the Community Energy Group.
Community Owned Renewable Energy
We’ve explored opportunities to develop a hydro-electric scheme in the area. We’ve also looked into other possibilities for community owned “renewables”. The UK Government ended payments to communities for locally generated energy in April 2019. This means we have to explore other ways of generating income from the energy such as powering tourist facilities and electric vehicle charging. A refurbished and extended Community Hall could be powered by renewable energy. We’ll be keeping a close eye on what might be on offer from the Government.
Community Benefit funds are used to support the annual Community Energy Grant to help with household energy costs. Last year, 140 residential households applied for and received the grant.
The Energy Group are working towards setting up other energy related grants. These could provide financial help towards installing measures to heat your homes more efficiently, reduce your heating bills, and contribute towards a Greener future. All homes will be included, owned or rented, large or small and whether residents have or have not already bought into renewable energy government grant schemes.
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.