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June Newsletter 2024

Quarterly update on Heart of England Community Energy’s performance and community impact.


1. Performance update

After an unusually cloudy spring, our electricity generation fell short of projections by 6.02% this quarter, with sunshine levels 8.35% below the projected average. March proved particularly tough, yielding only 1,080MWh, 16% less than projected, mainly due to unseasonably bad weather. Nonetheless, despite these challenges, our sites operated smoothly without encountering any significant technical issues affecting our generation.



2. Community Impact

£40,000+ allocated through the Community Grant Fund

Over the past year, our Community Benefit Fund has supported 8 local organisations in Stratford upon-Avon and nearby areas. Among the notable donations:

·

  • £3,600 to Bidford on Avon Parish Council for a new Community Fridge and Café, which rescued 1.2 tonnes of food in April 2024 alone!

  • £800 to Napton Environmental Action Team (NEAT) for the purchase of a thermal imaging camera, aiding in the identification of poor insulation, draughts, and damp in local buildings.



Through our Community Benefit Fund, HECE aims to alleviate fuel poverty, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance the well-being of socially disadvantaged communities. If you have a project eligible for funding from HECE's Community Benefit Fund or Carbon Reduction Fund, please reach out to info@hecommunityenergy.org.


Tackling Fuel Poverty

Conclusion of HECE’s funding for Act on Energy’s Complex Case Worker: Impact and Legacy


March 2024 marked the conclusion of HECE's two-year project funding Act on Energy's complex case worker in South Warwickshire. Over this period, our funding directly helped 256 individuals through personalised home visits, supported 467 individuals with intensive phone/web-based aid, and facilitated over 147 referrals to partner organisations. The cumulative impact of these efforts amounts to £226,541 in energy efficiency savings and estimated financial gains!


Undoubtedly, the project has been a success, providing support and advocacy to numerous vulnerable fuel-poor households across South Warwickshire. Most importantly, HECE’s funding has acted as a catalyst for the Stratford and Warwick District Councils to initiate their own community-based provision. These councils are now funding Act on Energy to run complex caseworker projects directly, expanding the project further!


Funding for Citizens Advice South Warwickshire


HECE remains committed to funding CASW, ensuring vital support reaches those who need it most. We do this through two key avenues: supporting their grants administration team and providing a hardship fund.


Our funding for CASW's admin team, equivalent to 64% of their administrative hours last quarter, enabled the distribution of 44 grants, totalling over £7,870! Our hardship funding has contributed £15,000 over the past year. This enables CASW to assist individuals facing hardship, covering more essential items such as food vouchers, clothing, and appliances like fridge/freezers, washing machines, and cookers.


Great Big Green Week in Startford-upon-Avon

Join the UK’s biggest celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature this week! The Great Big Green Week started on Saturday, 8th of June and runs until Sunday, 16th of June with over 25 eco-events across Stratford-upon-Avon and surrounding areas.


Expect talks, walks, and family-friendly activities organised by climate action groups and charities to raise awareness and inspire community involvement. There are still a few tickets available

for a free tour of our solar farm on Friday, 14th June at 3.30pm! Book your spot now and explore a working solar farm, learn about energy generation, and discover our biodiversity efforts.



Solar Soft Loans

Solar Soft Loans will help HECE turn surplus income generated from our community solar farm into solar panels on the roofs of local schools and community buildings. Our aim is to help organisations that would not have the funds to do it themselves, to install solar panels. The repayment of the Solar Soft Loan is based on a share of the actual cost savings. We will reinvest the loan repayments to create a revolving legacy fund to help fund further local low-carbon projects.

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