Energise Barnsley is dedicated to fuel poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and supporting vulnerable people living in the region.
In addition to providing tenants with free electricity from their solar-PV generation and community ownership of the solar assets on schools and other council buildings, Energise Barnsley dedicates all surplus profits from the generation of renewable electricity to the Community Solar Fund.
Our community energy solar project retains the feed in tariff subsidy, (which as energy bill consumers we have all paid for) to provide local financial resilience through our community bond, and to support local initiatives awarded grants through our fund.
Energise Barnsley aim’s to maximise the impact that can be generated and seek to engage with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and local organisations, where possible, to increase the scope of impact. In 2019 we have succeeded in both aims, with Barnsley Council committing its’ surplus revenue from its’ own energy tariff to our community solar fund and by co-operating with a wind community society to introduce their community benefit fund to the Better Barnsley Bond.
In 2016/7 the members voted at the AGM to make awards to Goldthorpe Development Group, AGE UK Barnsley, Wombwell Primary School and St Aidan Community Hall. The projects funded include paying for skips to prevent fly tipping and remove unwanted waste in neighbourhoods, and funding a street bed planting team to continue their good work in bringing a sense of pride back to neglected streets.
In 2017/8 the fund made awards to Gateway Church, Age UK Barnsley and Citizens Advice Bureau Barnsley, and the Dearne Playhouse Theatre. The board of EB asked Age UK and CAB to work jointly on an initiative to prevent excess winter deaths in a statistically high ward in Barnsley – Worsbrough. EB produced a white paper ‘Preventing Excess Winter Deaths’ on the initiative to aid planning of the pilot project.
The grant awarded to Gateway Church for their ‘Food For Thought – Healthy Cook and Eat’ initiative catalysed other local funding to co-invest, resulting in more classes being available for those on low-incomes. Please view the presentation from Gateway Church to our 2018 AGM here
In 2019 the fund co-invested with Henry Boot Foundation into FareShare Yorkshire – a leading charity redistributing surplus food within the region. Please see here our grant impact. It was also a pleasure to listen to Grimethorpe Community Farm present at our AGM, and hear the positive impact they are having in their community.
The Community Fund 2019/20 is now open for applications – please see EB Community Fund 2019/20