Hampshire climate change action recognised in national awards

Hampshire County Council has been recognised nationally for its work with communities to help tackle climate change, after being shortlisted for the Supportive Local Authority Award in the Community Energy Awards

Nov 20 2023

Hand holding a light bulb in the sunshine representing green energy

At the Awards final (Friday 17 November), Hampshire County Council was announced as joint runner-up alongside North Lincolnshire Council with the award going to Essex County Council. 
Councillor Rob Humby, Leader of the County Council said: “I am very proud that Hampshire County Council was among the finalists and my congratulations go to the award-winners and their communities, as well the other finalists.
“As a local authority who declared a climate emergency four years ago - setting out ambitious targets for Hampshire to be carbon neutral and more resilient to temperature change by 2050 – being placed among the shortlisted councils for this award demonstrates just how far we have come together.
“Alongside the County Council, individuals in communities right across the county have put their best foot forward, determined to build a strong community energy network to help tackle climate change, strengthen our energy security and make Hampshire homes more efficient and comfortable.” 
Hampshire County Council earned a place in the finals for outstanding efforts in galvanising communities into action to help tackle climate change in partnership with Community Energy South and the Greening Campaign, who together have supported the following five community energy groups to help residents reduce their energy use and generate low-carbon power:

  • Loddon Valley Community Energy offer free home energy surveys through volunteer energy champions and has small grants available towards installing energy efficient measures.
  • Test Source Community Energy is crowdfunding to raise £250,000 towards a 330kW solar PV project and aims to install solar panels on local buildings.
  • Energy Alton has submitted an application to the Rural Community Energy Fund to look at developing a microgrid at a local cooperative housing group, offers free home energy surveys and home thermal imaging and shares a six-point plan for residents to reduce their own carbon footprint – from what they put on the table to where they put their savings and investments.
  • Energise South Downs is working with a variety of site owners and managers with a view to delivering renewable energy to reduce costs and carbon emissions. There are several other exciting project opportunities in the pipeline including a microgrid at a new housing development.
  • Dragonfly Power, Romsey aims to provide a way for local people to invest in local energy generation for schools and local businesses and help households struggling with high energy costs using available external funding and Dragonfly Power’s community fund where possible.

Recognising the significance of community-driven initiatives in achieving its climate change goals, the County Council prioritised tackling emissions from energy generation and use. Community energy emerged as a solution that could empower and benefit residents and local communities.

In partnership with Community Energy South and the Greening Campaign, the County Council secured over £200,000 from the Community Renewal Fund enabling the work of Community Energy Pathways to expand and establish five robust groups by the end of 2022.

Hampshire County Council's proactive approach and sustained support set a precedent for effective collaboration between local governments, community organisations, and educational institutions. By investing in community energy, the Authority has contributed significantly to its climate goals and fostered a sense of community ownership and resilience, paving the way for a sustainable future.