Winners Of £350,000 Community Energy Fund Announced By M&S Energy
Today marks the announcement of the winners of M&S Energy’s Community Energy Fund. 78,837 people got involved and cast a vote in only the scheme’s second year.
All of the projects were looking for funding to install renewable technology or energy efficiency measures in their community building.
It was a fierce competition but today 26 projects have been awarded grants. The community energy winners are a diverse range of projects from schools to sports clubs to a community pub. They span Great Britain from the Highlands to Devon and will benefit all different types of communities.
Tom Druitt from the Big Lemon CIC, a winner of the South Regional Prize said, “We’re thrilled to have won the regional M&S Energy Award for our Solar Bus project. This will enable us to cover the roof of our depot in solar panels so we can run our new electric buses on renewable energy. As far as we know there is nothing quite like this in the country yet, so this award will help us push the boundaries of what is possible and bring a zero carbon, zero emissions bus service to our community. We would like to pay tribute to the other wonderful projects in our region and wish them well in developing their plans in the future.”
A panel of judges comprising of Sir Ed Davey (Chairman of Mongoose Energy & Former Secretary of State for DECC), Giles Bristow (Director at Forum for the Future), Morven Smith (Head of Community Investment at SSE), Nancy Sheterline (winner of the 2015 M&S Energy Community Energy Fund in the South West region for Exeter Phoenix) and Kuljinder Pank (Community Energy Manager at M&S Energy) selected the seven judge’s prize winners, each awarded up to £12,500.
All the winners will make a real difference to their local communities, made possible through this fund.
Sir Ed Davey said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to be involved in the judging panel for the M&S Energy Community Energy Fund. All the winners will make a real difference to their local communities, made possible through this fund. The level of community support during the voting stages is a clear confirmation that community energy is thriving and communities around Great Britain want and need it – more so at this time of uncertainty in the community energy field. The judge’s prizes were stand out, presenting some unique and innovative ways to think about generating and saving energy.”
The M&S Energy Community Energy Fund saw 199 applications from a wide variety of groups looking to make a difference and 125 made the shortlist. This year the voting process included the option to donate to any of the community energy groups via the Crowdfunding platform link on the M&S Energy fund website, this has resulted in an extra £28,798 of funding.
Jonathan Hazeldine, Head of M&S Energy said: “This year the competition has been fierce and we’ve been overwhelmed by the participation from the public who have voted in their tens of thousands. They’ve also generously donated over £28,000 through the Crowdfunding tool on our website which has been brilliant – for local community groups every small donation can make a massive difference. We’re looking forward to seeing the projects come to life and benefit local communities. As a 100% green energy supplier, supporting those who share our vision of a sustainable future through renewable energy is really important to our company, our customers and our colleagues.”