About Us

Our aim as a group of local residents is to produce clean, locally produced energy and help combat climate change. Our first project is to erect a community-owned wind turbine in the heart of Mid Devon is still at the next stage of planning.

One area was chosen as it is the nearest site to a connecting substation (to take the power generated) and Mid Devon District Council has, in its previous local plan, identified the area as a place suitable for wind power to be generated.

We surveyed residents in 2021 and obtained positive feedback and results. This encouraged us to apply for funding to develop the wind turbine. We were pleased to be awarded first-stage feasibility funds from the Devon County Council Community Energy Fund (CEF) and the West of England Combined Authority Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF).

We are now registered as a Community Benefit Society – Heart of Devon Community Energy Limited.

Our Aim

Our aim is to provide an opportunity for the people of Mid Devon to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and to make a significant contribution to tackling climate change for the sake of future generations.

We aim to provide funds for community projects over a 20 year period, from the sale of electricity.

We aim to provide cheaper electricity to households and businesses.*

We aim to provide a safe, green, ethical, investment opportunity for local people with a good projected return.

*This will depend very much on legislation such as the Local Electricity Bill, currently in discussion by Parliament, whereby small generating companies would be able to sell to local people at a lower rate than the major providers.

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If you have any suggestions for schemes / projects please inform the committee.

Community Projects

This is a not for profit project and when all the expense of site hire, maintenance costs, investor share return, money kept back for decommissioning are paid, then the remainder will to put into community projects. This community fund is projected to run for a period of 20 years or more but will start when the turbine is generating electricity.

Some examples may be:

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Local community e-bus

An Electric Community Transport scheme would aim to improve access & to employment, education, health facilities and social activities for school children, community groups and Individual residents of the area without access to a car or suitable public transport, through the deployment and provision of low-cost, fully accessible, zero-emission sustainable community transport. This would complement existing community transport already being run by Devon County Council.

There are already examples in the UK:

https://www.medibus.org.uk

https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/

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Local community electric charge points

If necessary the fund could be used for charge points around the area and there is the potential to set up a community shared car scheme, similar to the one in Exeter. This could save money: for instance 96% of the time cars are parked doing nothing and the average cost of running a car in the south west is nearly £500 a month.

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Building insulation and energy saving

Many houses in our area are very expensive to keep warm and the community fund could be used to help insulate some houses. For example 70% savings could be made with the right insulation and energy saving measures.

https://www.wmca.org.uk

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Other projects – school and young people

There are many others the fund may be able to assist. Ideas for those came out in our community assembly day held in May 2022, many of which only need small amounts of money to make a difference. Once set up we envisage working with others to continuously assist residents in ways identified by them.

Financial Section

So far we have received two grants from the West of England Combined Authority under the rural community Energy Fund (RCEF) and Devon County Council’s community Energy fund(CEF). We acknowledge with gratitude these two funds and the substantial amount of work our community made to successfully obtain these funds. We are extremely grateful for both RCEF and CEF for their flexibility and support to ensure the funds worked together to get us where we are now.

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The Founding Directors

The directors all act in a voluntary, unpaid, capacity and have to abide by the Rules. The directors are of John Carter, who has experience leading a wind turbine project, Steve Batt a former senior regeneration officer within the Economy and European Office at Devon County Council, David Parker who bring experience of management, financial administration and an understanding of legal issues and finally Dave Harris a FCCA qualified finance professional.

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Carbon footprint

A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, event, organisation, service, place or product, expressed as a carbon dioxide equivalent. For example when we light a gas fire carbon dioxide is given off into the atmosphere; a car emits carbon dioxide as it is driven. There are other greenhouse gas emissions such as methane from agriculture.

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Heart of Devon Community Energy

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