THE ENERGY TOOLKIT

06. RAISE YOUR PROFILE

Raise your profile in your community and engage your local leaders. You will need drive and commitment at all levels.

  • Speak to everyone you know about what you are doing.

  • Give updates to the Parish Council at monthly meetings. 

  • Put information in the Parish Council monthly newsletter.

  • Join organisations such as Community Energy South, and Community Energy England, and sign up for any newsletters and masterclasses (an excellent way to build your knowledge. Even if they are during the day, you can get a recording of the event).

  •  Make sure your group is on the list with your local councils so that you hear about climate change workshops or communications. 

  • Contact other local groups and share knowledge/support each other. 

  • Contact your local Borough and County Councillors, and your local MP. Tell them what you are doing. Do not miss any opportunity to promote yourselves, particularly around election time. Use local press (via press releases) on events and other big news, and letters to editors can be published. 

  • Organise Zoom meetings with representatives from key organisations to build knowledge, and answer any questions, or clarify confusion issues. 

  • Use social media, and be seen to be retweeting useful, relevant, and clear information and articles, or ideas or events. Twitter and Facebook are effective means of building awareness, attracting help, and providing information. Street stalls (i.e., a gazebo and a simple display of information in our village centre) are a powerful way of raising awareness and funds too. 

  • Build a website and keep it up to date. Ensure that you respond to any comments on your website or social media quickly and professionally. Engage any potential volunteers or helpers swiftly. 

  • Try to piggyback onto other local social media sites, e.g., Overton has MOOs (Mums of Overton) which has 1.2k members. The more you are seen to be doing things, and listening to people, the more your social media following will grow. This can be slow at first but will build over time. 

  • Reach out to all the local green projects in your community area and make sure they know you are there. This will help with cooperation and co-promotion between groups. 

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LEARNING POINT:

HAVING COMMUNITY ENERGY CONVERSATIONS

  • Keep talking about climate change and energy initiatives to everyone you meet/know, help can come from the most unexpected places. 

  • Even people who are not interested in joining the group may still be able or willing to assist in a variety of ways. 

  • Use your social media and ask all group members to use theirs. 

  • Build relationships with key contacts such as local landowners and farmers, as they might be able to provide buildings for solar PV or land for a small solar farm.

  • Look for media coverage opportunities – issue press releases to tell people what you are doing.

  • Bring people from other community energy companies in to talk about their experience – this will provide a learning experience and might attract new members. 

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