Community Energy England (CEE) has called for energy suppliers to offer ‘suitable’ tariffs for community energy in the wake of the feed-in tariff (FiT) closure.
With the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) still under consultation, CEE says community energy schemes are in limbo.
CEE points to Co-op Energy as an example for other energy suppliers to follow, with the company having announced that it will offer a route to market for community energy schemes and provide a market reflective rate for energy purchased.
As the FiT came to a close at the end of March, the CEE issued concerns over the policy gap left between it and the SEG and the effect it would have on community solar.
This new call to suppliers to plug that gap comes as CEE issues its response to the government on the SEG, recommending the government develops measures designed to enable new community energy projects.
The measures would need to enable the projects to help drive development of a more localised smart energy system, says CEE. It is also encourages BEIS to collaborate with it to scope out how a ‘Smart Community Energy Export Guarantee’ could work.
Emma Bridge, chief executive of Community Energy England, said she welcomed Co-op Energy’s tariff.
“They are leading the way and demonstrating that responsible businesses don’t need to wait for government to act; instead they are providing measures to allow community energy schemes to access a route to market now, with the knowledge that they will receive a fair price for their energy.
“We often hear warm words from the big suppliers, this is a chance to see them take practical action,” she continued.
David Bird, chief executive of Co-op Energy, said: “Energy suppliers have a powerful role to play in helping the public understand that our energy landscape is changing.
“Promoting renewable energy, and being clear about how and where it is produced and who benefits, can encourage customers to change their energy consumption habits as we move to a digital and decentralised power system.
“Community energy groups can help us do this as they are the local, trusted and visible groups that are showing how clean, green energy can benefit neighbourhoods up and down the country.”