Is Northern Ireland ready for community energy schemes? AmberGreen says ‘Yes’
By Eleanor McGillie
AMBERGreen Energy bosses have described today’s launch of a new £10million energy fund as ‘a significant step forward’ and says the UK Government backed community initiative should be rolled out in Northern Ireland.
Dwyer O’Neill, chief executive, says the £10m Urban Community Energy Fund, announced by the Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, is a turning point and must be welcomed.
Local communities in England will be offered up to £150,000 each to create their own renewable energy through solar panels or wind turbines – a move which empowers them to take on the Big Six gas and electricity giants.
It’s believed the £10m fund could see one million homes supplied with electricity from “home-made” generation by 2020.
Mr O’Neill said Northern Ireland has a vibrant renewable energy market with homeowners, businesses and farmers embracing green energy solutions right across the region but says communities here need Government backing in order to make a real and long lasting impact.
He said: “This is great news for England and great news for the communities who will be receiving the financial backing to say no to the Big Six. Communities here in Northern Ireland need similar backing. The cost of energy is a major consideration for our farmers, for businesses and for homeowners and more must be done to help people say no to rising energy bills.
“As a green energy solutions company we have been consulting on over 400 installations in the past 18 months. A community led scheme such as the Urban Community Energy Fund offers people a viable and sustainable channel for generating energy while allowing communities to save money. A fund such as this will not only benefit urban communities but will also positively impact rural communities.
“In Germany 46 per cent of renewable energy installations are owned by the community. It would be fantastic to see streets and villages across Northern Ireland producing their own energy either through wind or solar. This would be a real solution to eradicating fuel poverty.”
The fund is part of Britain’s first Community Energy Strategy, which the sector says is a way for consumers to regain control over rising bills. Mr Davey is also encouraging householders to use collective switching – where thousands of people can come together to change supplier on the same day, and therefore secure a cheaper deal – to stand up to the Big Six.
A survey for the Department of Energy and Climate Change found that more than 50 per cent of people said that saving money on bills would be the major motivation for getting involved with community energy schemes.
For information on Amber Green visit www.ambergreenenergy.co.uk or for the latest news from the Department of Energy and Climate Change visit https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-energy-climate-change
Notes To Editor:
- Amber Green is a trusted market leader in sustainable energy in N Ireland for small and mid sized solar, wind and heat solutions. Providing a complete service, from consultancy through to sourcing, installation and after-care, the company uses only proven technologies, ensuring excellent returns on investments from sustainable power and heat generation. Amber Green helps clients navigate green energy legislation and access to the financial support measures that exist. Amber Green is proud to be putting control back into the hands of homes and businesses across the country to address and future-proof rising energy costs.
- For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | www.mgmpr.co.uk | Renewable Energy PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Experts