* To make energy fairer
* By bringing local people together
* To provide a good investment in Eastbourne’s future
Who, what & why?
Our group came together from various community groups and met to discuss what a ‘green-economy’ might look like in this area. And to see if we could make it happen by just doing it! We are all very ‘ordinary’ people, with normal lives to live and jobs to go to, but we soon saw lots of opportunities to make a start. We then asked ourselves… What are the chances of our community benefiting when ‘big business’ moves in to create our energy for us and wouldn’t it be better if our energy-future was in our own hands?
Fuel poverty (fuel unfairness)
Nearly 1 in 10 households in Eastbourne are living in fuel poverty, and some struggle to find enough money to maintain a reasonable standard of warmth . With fuel prices rising, this could include many more of us very soon.
Various issues contribute to fuel poverty, many of which could be out of our own control. The north-south orientation of our house, or the energy performance of our home could be a big factor.
Fuel poverty affects millions of people in this country, particularly elderly and disabled people, families and single people on low-incomes and those living in older housing.
We see this as unfair and we aim to change that by funding projects to tackle it.
We exist to benefit local people
We very quickly became members of a growing network of community energy initiatives in Sussex, who receive peer mentoring from successful community energy companies with successful projects elsewhere.
We have formed a community-led, community-owned energy company to tackle the problems of fuel poverty (fuel unfairness) and to reduce the effects of uncertainty surrounding fossil fuels, and our increasing dependency on foreign imports. Profits will be reinvested to fund energy efficiency initiatives, chosen by local people, putting the ownership back into the people’s hands.
We want to build local economic resilience, by reinvesting any wealth generated back into the local area – creating new skilled jobs as we go.
We also prefer to see greater control over where our energy comes from, breaking the monopoly of large utility companies and our dependence on buying energy from volatile countries abroad.
Here’s how it normally works:
1) We find good sites for energy projects in Eastbourne and the surrounding area
2) We then provide a community share offer to finance those projects – so local people can own local energy
3) We’ll provide a return on that investment as an incentive and a thank you
4) We then use any profits to fund energy efficiency initiatives in the local area, employing local people
We are a new group and look forward to new members joining. We have an ambitious schedule to issue our first community shares in a local solar projects very soon. We hope you’ll join us in whatever way possible. Please sign up to our newsletter here www.e-ce.co.uk