Welcome to the 53rd LCCN newsletter! These come to you regularly with updates on what the Network is doing, other developments and, if you tell us, what you’re doing. We’re keen to find contributors who could send us an update (monthly?) on whats happening in their region that may be of interest elsewhere. Please forward this to anyone who may be interested, reminding them that they can get their own copy at: www.lowcarboncommunities.net

New Government work on behaviour change
The Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team has published a report setting out how behavioural insights can be used to help people save energy and money. The report, Behaviour Change and Energy Use, launches a series of trials and “changes to government policy” (not sure what these are though…) which will make it easier for individuals to green their homes and use less energy.

Energy Bill – not much progress
The Energy Bill is going to be delayed until at least 5th September. Report stage will not happen before summer recess. There is a backlog of legislation in Parliament and the Energy Bill was put on the backburner.
WWF has issued a press release – available here – welcoming the delay as it will give the Government the opportunity to address significant failings with the Green Deal in the Bill. The press release also contains a comparison between the Committee on Climate Change report from last week and the Governments stated ambitions for the Green Deal – it is now very clear the Government will not meet the third carbon budget if they do not increase their ambition.  

LCCN Management Group
A short summary report of our latest Management Group meeting is available here. Thanks to those of you who have expressed interest in joining the group. We are also working on developing a wider informal Advisory Group – watch this space.


New IPPR report on Community Energy
The Institute for Public Policy Research has published ‘Green Streets, Strong Communities’ bringing new evidence to light about what communities can do for emission reductions and what emission reductions can do for communities.
The report includes: 

  • Quantitative evidence showing that communities, on the back of micro-renewable installations, are effective at changing peoples’ attitudes to energy use and increasing demand for energy measures. Such increases in demand are vital if the Green Deal is to be successful.
  • Evidence that energy projects can create significant financial benefits for communities and that the income from the Feed-in-Tariff can create additional social benefits beyond just emission reductions.
  • Evidence that the millions of solid walls populating the housing stock threaten to undermine the UK’s ability to meet its emission reduction targets.

The report identifies key barriers to community energy projects related to community capacity, finance, solid walls, and planning and recommends policy interventions the Government should take to overcome them.
The publication results form a 15 month evaluation of British Gas’ Green Streets Challenge in which 14 communities across Great Britain competed to be the greenest by installing micro-renewables, energy efficiency measures and engaging their wider community.
The report is available to download here:

West Midlands Low Carbon Economy Programme – Community Strand

This new programme is offering support to  third sector organisations and community groups.
The programme
 can offer:

  • Tailored support of 5-10 days per project for up to 12 community renewable and/or sustainable energy projects in helping you move towards successful implementation.
  • Mentor training for up to 40 mentors to help promote and spread ideas, best practice and to support the delivery of community renewables projects.

For more information click the links below:
Programme Flyer
Community Strand Flyer

More good blogging

Anyone interested in energy policy may wish to track www.energyforlondon.org (it’s a blog) which covers energy news very well – and not just for London.

COIN Update
The Climate Outreach and Information network (COIN) is delighted to announce that it has taken over the management of the Carbon Conversations programme, developed by Cambridge Carbon Footprint.

Carbon Conversations groups offer a supportive group experience that helps people halve their personal carbon footprint.  They deal with the difficulties of change by connecting to values, emotions and identity. The groups are based on a psychological understanding of how people change. More details at: http://carbonconversations.org/

COIN will be working with Carbon Conversations trainers and facilitators to grow the programme to make the most of its unique insights into how we respond to climate change.


Training in low-carbon community-led planning
Dates announced in Ipswich, Truro, Kendal and Maidstone
The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is running four workshops to explore how communities can plan low-carbon and renewable energy initiatives, such as wind farms or solar projects.

The workshops are aimed at community groups themselves, as well as the staff of organisations like local authorities, national parks and third sector organisations who work with communities on local planning or sustainable living initiatives.

The training will introduce delegates to the Bristol-based organisation’s ‘PlanLoCaL’ suite of materials. These support communities in shaping their own low-carbon future and a more strategic engagement with the planning system (see www.planlocal.org.uk). Each session will include a presentation from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) on the government’s Community Energy Online portal, and one from the UK Climate Impacts Programme on how communities can plan adaptation techniques to help deal with the already unavoidable effects of climate change.

There is no charge for the training, and all delegates will receive copies of the PlanLoCaL resource pack to take away with them. This includes two DVDs containing 47 short videos.

The venues and dates are: Ipswich (Thurs, 7 July 2011), Kendal (Thurs, 28 July 2011), Truro (Thurs, 8 Sept2011) and Maidstone (Thurs, 6 Oct 2011).
You can download more information and a booking form – www.cse.org.uk/news/view/1546

And just in case you missed it…
Republicans in the Congress are pressing for a vote on one of the stranger elements of their environmental agenda – a ban on the adoption of energy-efficient lightbulbs.
The new breed of Tea party conservatives have cast the promotion of the more efficient LED and CFL lights as a shining example of government interference. Hanging on to the old-style bulbs is really about personal liberty, they say.
The Natural Resources Defence Council also produced a study on Friday suggesting that the energy-saving bulbs would save the average American household $85 a year on their electricity bill. They would also eliminate the need for 30 large power plants. So that’s freedom to pollute and freedom to pay higher bills…. 

Building LCCN – your help needed
This newsletter now goes out weekly to more than 600 people and groups, but we’d like to get it to many more. You can help!

If you find the newsletter useful , why not forward it to other people you know, either in your group or within  your network. Let them know it comes out weekly, it’s free and all they have to do to get it is to join the network…by sending an email requesting a membership form to – membership@lowcarboncommunities.net

Or you can download the membership form by clicking here.

LCCN Facebook page
Please like the Low Carbon Communities facebook page here.
Tell us your stories
We are very keen to get local news – reports, project launches, meetings etc… Send us the details!


Website: lowcarboncommunities.net                                                          12/07/2011

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