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What is community energy?

Updated: Nov 13

Written by Lola Yang

Community energy means a group of locally-based people who live in the same areas or neighbourhoods invest their money to build their own energy system, for example by installing solar panels, wind turbines, hydroelectric generation in their residential areas which they can partly or fully own. By building, creating, using and selling their own renewable energy, buildings in Croydon can reduce their cost of living and avoid excessive payments to big energy companies.

How can it help the community?

Community energy is not just about self-profit, but also helping people establish a strong sustainable community.

By investing in community energy projects, investors also become a member of the project and have the right to make decisions on where profits are spent in the community. Owning the self-built energy systems, residents can commission the community energy corporations to help sell or export their energy. In return, local residents can use the profit to benefit and improve local communities.

The profits can go towards:

  1. Creating a community fund, which members can decide how to spend in the borough, such as education, green public constructions and more community developments.

  2. Creating additional similar projects in Croydon.

  3. Investors will be paid back annually with interest.

However, besides the profits, the greater value that the community energy could bring to its people is letting them take control. Investing in an energy project means not paying an individual's household bills to big energy companies.

“It involves them directly in energy decisions, and provides them with more control over possibilities to switch to a more sustainable lifestyle” according to ClientEarth

Community energy offers its people energy independence, and it comes along with energy security. For example, If governments make different decisions on clean energy that are against citizens’ will, community energy projects allow citizens to have autonomy from this as they drive and control their own transition towards clean energy.

Get involved with Croydon Community Energy today!

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