Working to reduce our carbon footprint
Transition Portishead administers the Community Benefit Fund on behalf of Low Carbon Gordano. (Learn more about the work of Low Carbon Gordano Here).
The provision of significant local community benefits is central to Low Carbon Gordano’s vision. The benefits are distributed through a Community Benefit Fund which derives the bulk of its income from the surpluses generated from the Moorhouse Lane and the Ham Lane Solar Arrays and any future energy generation schemes. The Fund will be used for the purpose of developing more carbon saving projects in the community.
Transition Portishead has established a Community Benefit Fund Committee (CBFC) to administer the fund and the committee includes representatives from communities in North Somerset as well as communities near to Low Carbon Gordano's projects.
Community Benefit Fund 2017
The Community Benefit Fund Committee has just launched the second round of the grant-awarding process. As last year the fund has about £23,000 to support local community organisations in efforts to reduce their carbon emissions and save money. This year the funds have been topped up by some people who have donated a portion of the interest earned on their shares in the Society. LCG has also again set aside £2,500 for a project in the developing world: last year this was used to support a project run by Bristol Zoo. The Zoo works closely with a local community in Madagascar to help conserve endangered lemurs and the LCG funds enabled solar PV systems to be installed by Solarsense for local people for cooking and lighting.
Last year's other grants went to six North Somerset organisations that looked for help with a wide range of schemes. They included a Clevedon charity that supports people recovering from addiction update its heating system, enabled the installation of LED lighting in Gordano School, in the Easton-in-Gordano scout hut and in 14 of the street-lights owned by Pill and Easton-in-Gordano Parish Council. Gordano School also got funds to develop a system to increase plastic recycling in the school, whilst the Long Ashton Growers Co-operative has been able to erect another polytunnel and plant it up with a wide variety of fruit.
In addition, a grant was made to Ambition Lawrence Weston (ALW). ALW represents the community that is closest to LCG's Moorhouse Farm array. This project offered short term employment and support to two interns so that they could become qualified energy advisers for domestic, commercial and community properties.
The Committee was delighted with the outcome of its first year of operation. It estimates that, excluding ALW's plans because the carbon reduction could not be quantified, the schemes will save about 50 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, as well as helping the organisations involved reduce their energy costs. The Committee is looking forward to getting even more high quality bids in this second round, even if that makes the task of choosing the best more difficult.
Money will only be given to organisations which provide demonstrable benefit to the community for schemes with clear carbon savings.
Application form 2017
An application form, which also provides guidance on how it should be completed, can be downloaded Here. The deadline for applications is 30 April 2017.
The annual report of the CBFC can be downloaded Here