Photo of Alan Beith

Alan Beith (Berwick-upon-Tweed, Liberal Democrat)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what steps he is taking to encourage local energy generation for local communities.

Photo of Gregory Barker

Gregory Barker (The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)

The Department recently announced that the second round of renewable heat premium payments will offer 8 million to communities. The Department is also working with the Energy Saving Trust on monitoring the outcomes of the 10 million Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) which helped 237 communities across England and Wales.

The Department is working with DEFRA on a rural development fund which will offer loans to help community groups in rural areas get planning permission for local energy projects.

The Government website "Community Energy Online" provides information on developing community energy policies and can be accessed at:

http://ceo.decc.gov.uk/

As part of the Phase 2b consultation on feed-in tariffs (FITs) we are seeking views on the definition of “community” and how it could be used in practice. The consultation will close on 26 April and we intend to publish the response in summer.

In order to ensure that these and any new developments have input from community energy practitioners across the country, I have also established an informal ministerial advisory group on community energy.

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