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.

The Community Energy Project

energy group logo

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.

As we all use energy to heat and light 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 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.

The Energy Group has been exploring 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

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. A significant number have had measures installed. The visits are carried out by Home Energy Scotland. They 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 GDCE.

Community Owned Renewable Energy

The group have 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

The number of residential household who have received the annual £250 grant towards energy costs has risen from 124 to 138 of our 172 households. Keep an eye on the website for news of the 2019 grant.

Low energy lightbulbs

Over 900 low energy lightbulbs have been distributed to households significantly reducing the amount of electricity needed for household lighting.

Insulation and draught proofing

Those who visited the Energy Drop In event were able to order simple draught proofing and insulation items free of charge. These will available to order with your 2019 Energy Grant application.

GDCE has been set up as a focal point to engage with residents and develop energy related ideas, suggestions and initiatives. We’re working to give more detail on how the community’s investment is reaping rewards.

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.


Pamela Morrison said:

Please will you include me in with you next oil club group order? I would like 1,000 litres. I may not be here when you ring round if it is after this week.

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Laura Lee McWhinney said:

Hi Pamela,

Thanks for your order, it's been added to the 'Oil Buy' list for the quotes from all 6 companies, as we saved 9p per litre last time around we are hoping we will make a good saving again this time.

Laura from the Garve & District Energy Group Oil Buying team 

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