Some news from Energise Sussex Coast in Hastings, UK

What is the role of Energise Susex Coast in CAN?

Energise Susex Coast (ESC), a community benefit co-operative with a mission to tackle the climate crisis and energy justice through community owned renewable power and energy saving schemes, was part of the CAN consortium during the first four years of the project. Thanks to the ESC activities in CAN, 3,544 residents received energy advice or attended an event. 345 pop up energy advice desks and events were organised. At least, 87 tonnes of carbon have been saved every year.

How are the activities at Energise Sussex Coast currently doing?

ESC continues to run energy desks and pays more attention to specific sites in order to better reach the target audience,that is vulnerable people. For example, ESC works closely with the Food Banks and runs an energy desk in Hastings, Rye and Eastbourne Food Bank once a week. A weekly energy desk is also running in the Community Hub of Hastings. In response to the COVID pandemic, ESC launched a new telephone energy advice service and proposed home delivery of energy saving measures.

Because of the current energy crisis, household bills are due to rise by £ 700 (50%) a year from April. It means that ESC will be exceptionally busy, as many more households are expected to become fuel poor. ESC´s services are now open to anyone, no matter what their income, and especially for householders wanting advice about going solar or installing heat pumps.

Sadly "Our Power", the first community benefit co-operative to become an energy supplier, ceased trading in 2020, but the Energy Local scheme trialled by ESC in Hastings has been adopted by Octopus Energy and Younity.  ESC is continuing the process to encourage residents to join "energy clubs", which will allow them to share energy for solar and benefit from lower tariffs. This is one of the aspects of a bigger picture: How to tackle energy poverty at local level? ESC is still very engaged on such issues and interested in the implementation of affordable access to solar panels on public buildings or the creation of community renewable tariffs.

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