Videos

These short films are here to give support and advice on setting up a community-scale energy project. You can also glean some wisdom from the experiences of other community groups.

The films in sections 4 to 9 of the renewable energy section are relevant to all types of community energy projects.

Renewable energy

    • Solar power: an introduction

      This introduction to solar energy explains how it can be used to heat water (solar thermal) or generate electricity (solar PV).

    • Biomass: an introduction

      This introduction to biomass explains how it can be used to heat homes and generate energy, and tells you which biomass systems are suitable for smaller-scale community projects.

    • Wind: an introduction

      This introduction to wind energy explains how the different types of wind turbine convert the energy in the wind to electricity, and where the most suitable places are to put them.

    • Hydro power: an introduction

      This introduction to hydro power explains how hydro-electric systems transfer the energy of moving water into electricity, and what kind of river makes a good hydro site.

    • Heat pumps: an introduction

      This introduction to heat pumps explains how the three types of heat pumps (ground-source, air-source and water-source) work, and where are the best places to locate them.

    • Energy from waste: an introduction

      This introduction to energy from waste explains how renewable energy can be generated from the contents of our wheelie bins, farmyard slurry or from sewage waste.

    • Solar power: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a solar project in your community.

    • Biomass woodland management: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a biomass woodland management project in your community.

    • Biomass boilers: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up an individual biomass boiler project in your community.

    • Biomass district heating or an Esco: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a biomass district heating project or ESCo in your community.

    • Wind: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a wind project in your community.

    • Hydro power: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a hydro-electric project in your community.

    • Heat pumps: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up a heat-pump project in your community.

    • Anaerobic digestion: things to consider before starting a project

      Advice and guidance to help you take the first steps to setting up an anaerobic digester project in your community.

    • How community projects come about

      Tells the story of how various people from different areas were inspired to develop a renewable energy project for their community.

    • Solar PV on a community-scale in West Oxford

      Tells the story of how West Oxford Community Renewables installed 550 solar PV panels on the roofs of a local school to benefit from the feed-in tariff.

    • Solar hot water at a swimming pool in Bovey Tracey, Devon

      Tells the story of how Bovey Climate Action helped a community swimming pool install a solar thermal system for the pool's showers.

    • Biomass boiler for a church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon

      Tells the story of how a biomass pellet boiler was installed at St Paul's Church in Gulworthy Cross, Devon, and helped to keep the congregation warm.

    • Biomass district heating for a small community in Sussex

      Tells the story of how the residents of a small rural community in Sussex installed a woodchip-fired district-heating system - and how the local foresters provided the fuel.

    • Biomass district heating on a Barnsley estate

      Tells the story of how Barnsley council converted coal boilers in two blocks of flats into a biomass district heating system and how they continue to manage it.

    • Woodfuel project for the communities of Spaunton and Appleton-le-Moors

      Tells the story of how residents of two villages in the North York Moors have entered into partnership with a local landowner to manage their woodland for woodfuel.

    • Wind turbine for a community in Hockerton, Nottinghamshire

      Tells the story of how the people of a Nottinghamshire village bought and installed a 225kw wind turbine, with feed-in tariff profits benefitting shareholders and paying for community projects.

    • Hydro-electric for a community in Settle, North Yorkshire

      Tells the story of how a group in Settle, North Yorkshire, set up a hydro-electric project to generate renewable energy and profits for the community.

    • Heat pump for a community building in Woolfardisworthy, Devon

      Tells the story of how a community building in Devon installed a ground-source heat pump as their latest renewable project to help save thousands of pounds.

    • Anaerobic digestion in Silloth, Cumbria

      Tells the story of how farmers in Cumbria joined together to develop plans for an anaerobic digester plant, which will save them money and potentially provide heat.

    • Managing a community project

      Helps you to understand that good management is essential to successfully co-ordinating your community project, this film guides you through the process.

    • Community-led planning for a low-carbon future

      Explains how members of local communities are the best people to identify the priorities for their own future and introduces people to the idea of community-led planning.

    • Running a community consultation

      Consulting meaningfully with the local community is a critical step in a successful renewable energy project and this film will help guide you through the process.

    • A cautionary tale about consulting with the community

      Things can go badly wrong if you don't listen to the views of your community and others around you, and this film shows the consequences of consulting too late.

    • Becoming a legally recognised entity

      It's important to have a legally recognised structure for your renewable energy project in order to manage funding, contracts, income and other matters, and this film gives you all the information you need to know.

    • Setting up a CIC or an IPS

      Community groups expecting to generate an income are likely to use one of two legally recognised structures; community interest companies (CIC) or industrial and provident societies (IPS), and this film explains both.

    • Different legal structures work for different groups

      Different legally recognised structures work for different types of community groups, and this film helps you to determine which one works best for yours.

    • Statutory planning

      This is a simple introduction to the national system of planning: explaining what it is, as well as what can be built and where.

    • Engaging with your local council

      Developing a good relationship with officers at the local council who will help advise on and determine your plans, is important to driving your energy project forward - and this film explains who you'll come into contact with.

    • Getting planning permission

      Understanding and navigating the process of getting planning permission for your renewable energy project can be complex, but this film will guide you through.

    • Listed buildings, heritage and landscape

      Planning applications in and for heritage settings will have particular local and national rules to follow, and this film will help you understand what may be necessary.

    • Permits, permissions and planning

      Getting planning permission for a community-based renewable-energy project can take time, require effort and cost money, and this film helps identify some of the pitfalls.

    • Project finance

      Securing funding for your sustainable energy project can be quite a challenge and this film helps to support you through the process.

    • Funding your project through a share issue

      One method of raising the necessary cash for your renewable energy project is by inviting people to become shareholders and this film helps you through that process.

    • Traditional bank finance

      One way of funding particularly large renewable energy projects is to borrow from a bank and establish a repayment plan, and this film helps you understand how.

    • Feed-in tariffs and other finance streams

      Financial incentives, like the feed-in tariff and renewable heat incentive, are designed to encourage communities to generate money from renewable energy projects and this film helps you to understand how to take advantage.

    • Grants and other charitable funding

      Effective fundraising campaigns could be the best way of raising the funds you need through local donations, and this film provides the guidance to do this.

    • How Triodos Bank funds community projects

      Triodos Renewables is an arm of Triodos Bank that specialises in the funding of renewable energy projects, and this film helps you to understand how they can help your project.

    • Funding and income streams

      There are a variety of ways community-based renewable energy projects have accessed the funding and income to turn their proposals into reality, and this films looks at a number of them.

    • Re-investing your income

      If your project is fortunate enough to generate an income stream from its renewable energy, this film helps you to understand how you can effectively re-invest your profits for the future.

    • Savings, profits and reinvestments

      Many communities are fortunate enough to have generated an income stream from their renewable energy project and this film shows how some of these have re-invested their profits for the future.

Energy efficiency
and the Green Deal

  • Green Deal opportunities for community groups

    How communities can use the Green Deal to make homes in their area more energy efficient.

  • The Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation: an overview

    The Green Deal and ECO - questions you might have as a householder.

  • Rolling out an area-wide retrofit programme

    Exploring ways to make improvements across a community.

  • Tackling the Terrace: an external solid wall insulation project

    Is it viable to fit external solid wall insulation to a whole row of terraced houses?

  • Running an open homes event

    An open homes event is a great way to encourage take-up of energy-saving improvements.

  • Keep your community group going strong

    How to keep everyone motivated when progress seems slow.

  • An energy efficiency walk-around

    How to carry out a DIY home energy efficiency audit.

  • How to use CSE's Housing Assessment Tool

    HAT helps you decide on the best energy efficiency measures to recommend.

  • Providing energy advice in the community

    Things to consider if you want to help people understand and take action on energy.

  • Working in partnership

    Together we're stronger! Your project could go further if you work with the right people.

  • Home energy surveys - a case study from West Somerset

    How a community group uses energy surveys to advise householders on low-carbon improvements.

  • Starting a bulk buying scheme

    Why and how to bulk buy low-carbon materials like insulation or solar panels for a community energy project.