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Community Energy Saving Programme

Review of the market for community energy saving partnerships

(report to the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes)

In November the Research Team and CSE were commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes to undertake a review of community partnership projects in order to inform the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) that was announced by HMG in September.

The review concludes that though the activity of community groups identified in the study is largely driven by the climate change agenda there is also considerable potential to target the fuel poor by embedding the programme within existing area based regeneration and neighbourhood renewal schemes that are driven by the needs of the most deprived communities. These schemes have already spent many years building up trusted relationships with the most vulnerable members of society. The development of community relations and trust, both between partner organisations and between these and targeted households, takes time. Building successful referral networks also takes a considerable amount of time, expertise and effort. It would therefore be advisable to work with existing referral networks where possible. If CESP is to really engage the most vulnerable members of society it will be important to work through, and very closely with, these intermediary organisations and existing drivers of community and area-based activity on level terms.

Access the full documents below:

Further recommendations for CESP included:

  • Allowing for a large amount of flexibility in considering what constitutes a valid and valuable CESP scheme
  • Ensuring the parameters of this flexibility are nevertheless clearly defined and communicated at the outset of the Programme
  • Extending the flexibility to ensuring that individual households that may not generally be eligible for support, but are in need, can benefit
  • Inter-scheme competition could be a useful element in CESP’s overall design. In order to retain this option, it is recommended that flexibility be reconciled with a Britain-wide recognisable identity for the Programme
  • A major focus for CESP should be on areas that already have strong referral networks and can identify a suitable community and area within which CESP can deliver and add genuine value to activities already taking place
  • A suitable proportion of CESP resources should focus on rural communities
  • It is crucial that each individual CESP scheme is designed and implemented with an „exit strategy‟ to sustain momentum beyond the Programme’s duration

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