Resource Efficient Wales
A consortium of locally based organisations has been contracted by Welsh Government to deliver resource efficiency advice to community organisations and bodies across Wales. The scheme is branded Resource Efficient Wales.
DEG is part of this consortium and are known as the Regional Client Manager for the community support service. The region we cover includes Gwynedd, Anglesey, Conwy and Denbighshire.
The purpose of the Regional Client Manager is to help community groups identify opportunities to use less energy, water or produce less waste. This is mostly done by:
- Visiting the community to conduct an opportunities assessment
- Writing a report on the assessment for the community
- Identifying the need for specific technical expertise and
- Working alongside Welsh Government staff to source this expertise.
The aim being to support community groups to successfully install efficiency measures and begin to realise the benefits, before moving on to additional resource efficiency actions.
Case Studies of the groups we’ve supported will be uploaded here soon.
For more information on energy, waste or water efficiency, please download the leaflet here, call the Resource Efficient Wales helpline on 0300 123 2020 or visit the website at www.wales.gov.uk/resourceefficient.
DEG works closely with Renew Wales on a number of our projects. Renew Wales provide peer to peer support for community groups addressing climate change in Wales. DEG is a host organisation for mentors on the programme.
You can find out more about Renew Wales at renewwales.org.uk.
Northwest Wales Community Energy Network
The northwest Wales Community Energy Network forms a foundation for much of DEG’s work. It is where we gather the information that directs and informs our work and the Network makes up the bulk of participants in our events and research. The Network provides the validity to our voice when we speak about community energy in northwest Wales.
DEG, along with partners from Ynni’r Fro, Gwynedd Council, Menter Iaith Conwy, and the National Trust, set-up the network for community energy groups in northwest Wales in 2013. The network is an unfunded, loose grouping of some 15 groups with an interest in developing community energy projects and is maintained via an email group and events that are administered by DEG.
Ynys Ynni Cymunedol
DEG is a part of this strategic alliance of stakeholders on Anglesey operating as part of the Energy Island Programme, albeit unfunded and with little Energy Island input. DEG provided secretariat to the group for much of 2014 before passing it on to the local Ynni’r Fro officer.
The purpose of the group has been to inspire a greater interest in community energy on Anglesey. Its high point was during the Community Energy Fortnight 2014 when DEG, in partnership with Menter Mon, organised an event attended by over 100 local community activists. You can see a little about the event on the Community Energy Fortnight website here.
As a means of promoting community energy DEG has provided a number of events for our network and others interested in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Topics covered include:
- Intro to Hydro
- Developing Community Energy
- Alternative Finance
- Community Action Against Climate Change
- External Wall Insulation
- Local Supply
- Study Visits to see renewable energy and efficiency developments
Many of these events have been collaborations with partners such as Gwynedd Council, Bangor University, Renew Wales, Community Energy Wales, and Profiad Ni. If you’d like to partner DEG in an event in northwest Wales please get in touch.
DEG has been invited to speak at a number of events on community energy in rural or northwest Wales, and on community enterprise and sustainable communities more generally.
We provided the local case studies at The Green Innovation Network’s Co-creating The Green Economy event, speaking alongside The Green Economy Coalition, The New Economics Foundation and Cynnal Cymru and we’ve spoken in Ireland at the New Approaches to Community Development event held at Dunhill Ecopark and hosted by the Waterford Institute of Technology.
DEG has also been involved in media work, providing input to Radio Wales and Radio Cymru. Media enquiries are welcomed.
Please get in touch if you’d like DEG to speak at your event.
A main component of DEG’s mission is to share best practise and learning. Plus, DEG believes in the need to evidence the impact community energy makes locally. To these ends, we conduct research to inform our partners.
Please get in touch if you would like to work with DEG on a research project.
Understanding, promoting and supporting community energy in rural Wales
At the end of 2014 DEG provided a report to the Gwynedd Economic Partnership based on a short action research project commissioned by Gwynedd Council.
We collected surveys, conducted interviews and hosted focus groups to gather opinions and experiences of community groups to better understand the sector, what support has worked well, and what barriers need addressing in future support packages.
We discovered that five of the most advanced community energy groups in Gwynedd were planning to make a combined investment of over £5 million in developing their projects. This investment would see combined income of over £600 thousand per annum directly into the communities involved. When combined with potential savings from energy efficiency schemes being undertaken by these groups the return increases to £1.1 million each year.
The most significant areas for support highlighted by groups in Gwynedd included addressing:
- Volunteers’ time constraints
- The complexity inherent in community energy projects
- The expertise required within community energy groups
You can download a summary of the research, including recommendations for future support programmes in the library here.
Access to Masters
DEG have been working with Bangor University’s Access to Masters (ATM) programme. The programme has provided DEG with a Master’s student who has developed our northwest Wales Community Energy Map and has been conducting research into the viability of pooled selling of community-owned renewable energy.
You can see our northwest Wales Community Energy Map here and we hope to add a summary of the research to our library soon.
Prosiect GAE was a Community Action Research Project looking at how to maximize the opportunities provided by the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) in Gwynedd communities.
The purpose of the project was to collaborate with a number of organisations working closely within their communities to understand more about the reasons behind poor performance of the Green Deal and ECO in these areas, and identify what actions could improve the situation.
DEG were commissioned by Grwp Cynefin to design a project to be delivered by Y Dref Werdd, Ynni Llyn, and the Cymdeithas Tai Eryri Energy Wardens in four Community First areas in Gwynedd.
The research highlighted some significant perceived barriers inhibiting greater energy efficiency, including cost and a lack of trusted information.
The full report can be downloaded in the library.
DEG provides a range of consultation services to help communities and other partners achieve their aims. Some examples are provided below:
Green Innovation Future Technologies
DEG provided a range of services to the above Bangor University project that included working with renewable energy companies to encourage networking and collaboration. This included facilitating study visits and round table meetings.
Renewable Energy Support Programme
DEG was asked by the Welsh Government to use our experience with rural community energy groups to contribute to the design of their new renewable energy support programme. This provided us with the opportunity to input information gathered from the Northwest Wales Community Energy Network.