Energy for Tomorrow success stories: Cornwall Local Energy Market

We are helping communities tackle climate change.

We’re providing funding and support to empower communities and entrepreneurs to tackle today’s climate challenges and deliver sustainable solutions.

Helping you live more sustainably, simply and affordably – that’s our purpose, and it sits right at the heart of our People & Planet Plan. We want to make it easier for our customers to make greener choices in their daily lives, and our Energy for Tomorrow programme will help us to succeed in this mission, by supporting the green innovations, start-ups and community projects that will help the UK get to net zero.

What is Energy for Tomorrow?

People matter. Communities matter. And this programme is one of the ways we can help both to become more environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.

Tackling today’s climate challenges shouldn’t just be left to the experts – it’s something that many of us can contribute to. Innovation requires imagination, and we need diverse thinking to come up with sustainable energy solutions for all of us.

Energy for Tomorrow was established to empower communities and entrepreneurs who have concepts that can deliver affordable, accessible and reliable clean energy for all.

What does Energy for Tomorrow provide?

We’re offering funding, expertise and support to initiatives  that can accelerate the shift to using more sustainable sources of energy. We’re building a portfolio of organisations, who will receive grants of up to £100,000 over a period of up to three years. 1

Where does the Energy for Tomorrow funding come from?

Energy for Tomorrow derives revenue from the feed-in tariffs of solar panels that we installed in over 250 schools in the UK between 2011 and 2016. Thanks to these solar panels, not only do each of these schools save almost £2,500 every year, and collectively offset 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the feed-in tariff revenue also continues to help communities tackle climate change today.

Energy for Tomorrow derives revenue from the feed-in tariffs of solar panels.

Energy for Tomorrow in action: Cornwall Local Energy Market

This £16.7 million project began in 2018 with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by rewarding smarter energy decisions, potentially driving down household bills too, and ran until spring 2020. Energy for Tomorrow awarded £2 million to the project, with £11.6 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund and the balance from Centrica.

Cornwall Local Energy Market: helping homeowners

The team installed solar generation and/or storage units, as well as the very latest smart technologies, in 100 homes. All this hardware was free for the householders, who didn’t pay a single penny.

Cornwall Local Energy Market: bolstering businesses

Household installations were achieved, alongside work with businesses to provide energy audits and install energy monitoring and management equipment. Together, these efforts created the Local Energy Market - a virtual marketplace for energy.

Cornwall Local Energy Market: energy exchanges

This virtual marketplace enabled householders and businesses to buy and sell energy to the Grid. They also had the opportunity to be paid for helping to balance the network, by either reducing or delaying their energy consumption.

Cornwall Local Energy Market: supporting schools

In addition, £100,000 of the funding went towards developing an outreach programme for schools to engage students and demonstrate the benefits of renewable energy and the importance of balancing the energy grid. A combination of lessons, careers fairs and STEM ambassadors reached almost 3,000 students.

Cornwall Local Energy Market: participant perspectives

I am more aware of the need to use electricity during daylight hours - for example to heat water, wash clothes, so use the timers on machines more. It may also have led to an overall reduction in the use of electricity throughout the house as we're now all more aware of our electricity consumption.

It’s been a positive all-round experience.

It’s significantly reduced our energy costs with regards to electricity, potentially by 80%.

To build on the success of the Cornwall Local Energy Market project, Energy for Tomorrow is expanding. We’ve launched our campaign for applications from Scotland, and we’ll have more campaigns heading your way in 2022 too.

Apply for a grant if you have any bright ideas.
Find out more about Energy for Tomorrow here. Inspired? If you have an innovative idea, apply to Energy for Tomorrow here

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