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The Energy Crisis Part 2

November 05, 2022

The Energy Crisis Part 2




Last month we discussed The Energy Crisis.


Now, I was talking about internal energy for you and me but we also touched on the more worldly energy crisis with fuel bills and I said I had some ideas, so here they are.


Before I start (and you think I’ve completely lost it which you might do) I’m going to tell you how my thought process got to these ideas. Villages up and down the UK have put these plans into action very successfully already, all for different reasons so it can be done, it’s just a question of do you want to?


Let’s start at the beginning. Lynne Franks OBE, one of the four TOYL Wise Women said in a recent Instagram post “I’ve never been more convinced that small active groups within communities is the way towards a positive future”. She went onto say “It is the time for all women to step into their power as leaders in communities everywhere.”


I totally agree, but then I’m in a space where I’m in good mental and physical health, I’m a reasonably confident woman and I’m at ease pushing my views forward in large group situations. You can only be who you are and not all of us feel comfortable doing so. There was absolutely a time when I wasn’t so I get it if this isn’t for you.


So, what am I on about? Well, Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire did it, Delabole in Cornwall did it and the Point and Sandwick Trust own the largest one in the UK. What am I talking about? Community wind turbines or solar fields, owned by the community to benefit the community. Your own, local power source created for you.


These community owned energy projects either provide money off everyone’s fuel bills or pay into a community fund that finances other local projects for the benefit of all. Now, I’m not saying this is a perfect idea, I’m sure community energy projects have failed before but here’s the thing. Why don’t you write to your Parish Council and ask them to develop a community energy project?


No one can say it’s not a good idea and I’ve even created the template letter for you to use. I’ll also include step by step instructions on how to contact your local parish council and what you might reasonably expect them to do.


How do I know this? I’ve been Chair of a Parish Council myself (that surprised you, didn’t it) so I know how these things work. Me and Jackie Weaver will change the face of Parish Councils yet!


TOYL doesn’t usually get involved with these kinds of projects, nor does the newsletter usually cover these more serious subjects but it is important for the old and the young to be warm so let’s see what we can do. Together. My “smaller idea” is far easier. TOYL will make a donation on your behalf based on the level of sales on Black Friday to two charities dealing with the energy crisis – one that helps older people, one that helps young families. It’s our Christmas gift to you.


So, interested? If so, head over to my blog post HERE with the step by step instructions. Maybe Lynne Franks OBE is right.


1.  Go to their website.  if you don't know which is your parish council check this out at your district council's website.  If you live in a city or town then it will be the city or town council, so you might be better off contacting your local city or district councillor - have a look and a think.

2.  If a Parish council find the Clerk's email

3.  Use my template letter to get a community energy source added to the agenda for the next Parish Meeting which you can attend.  Ask the Clerk to come back to you after the discussion to tell you what was said if you can't attend.  They will produce minutes to the meeting which may (or may not) tell you how the meet went.

4.  If you're not happy with the response write directly to the chair of your local council and see what they have to say.  

5. If you really want to get this moving form a small group in your parish of like minded people who want to move the issue forward.  You might find them on facebook or a local forum.

6.  See if you can find a sympathetic councillor and work with them.

7.  Find your sustainable officer at your local district council - they may know of groups already working on these projects.

8.  If they add the item to the agenda you can go and speak for 5 minutes on the subject at the beginning of the appropriate meeting - why not?

I've always found our district and county councillor really helpful - see what you can find out!




Dear Clerk,

I would like to request that you add an item to the next council meeting agenda for councillors to discuss creating a community energy project in our parish/town/city.

Energy costs are set to rise with no sign of them coming down and I would like to find out the following:

1.  Will the Parish/town/city create a community energy project committee or working group to explore all possibilities to boost energy to local parishioners through a community owned wind turbine or solar field?

2.  Does the Parish own land or buildings on which solar panels or a wind turbine can be sited?

3.  What plans are there to help the most vulnerable members of our community with energy bills on an ongoing basis?

There are many highly successful community energy projects around the UK, created for local people with the income used to offset their individual energy bills  or to fund local infrastructure.  I would urge the council to look at this as a matter quickly to benefit all our community and I look forward to hearing the outcome of these discussions.

Yours sincerely,





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