Power for People – September Update

Last month’s Government announcement of a new fund to help community energy grow was soon followed by two further welcome commitments

Over the last year the Government have been progressing a big piece of energy legislation through Parliament, called the Energy Bill. Our collective efforts saw MPs from all parties calling for community energy-enabling measures to be added into the Bill, which has now nearly completed its passage through Parliament. In response, on 11th August the Government announced a £10 million Community Energy Fund.

As the first supportive action from Government for community energy in many years, this was a very welcome new direction.

Then, when Parliament debated the Energy Bill again on 5th September, MPs from all parties again called for more from the Government for community energy. Their rationale was that, whilst the new fund will no doubt help, it will not remove the barriers that prevent community energy schemes selling their power directly to local people.

And when the Energy Minister Andrew Bowie spoke, he made two further promises:

  1. To consult on removing the barriers that community energy projects face when trying to sell their power locally, and
  2. To report annually to Parliament on the progress towards removing those barriers.

You can watch our highlights video of the debate by clicking here.

This is another success in our efforts to see more locally-owned and run renewable energy generation. A consultation is a fundamental step towards enablement reform, whilst annual reporting will help Parliament and the public hold the Government to account.

We will do all we can to ensure that the consultation, expected in the autumn, leads to reforms that will help new community energy projects to spring up everywhere.

Then, last week, the House of Lords voted in favour of including a new amendment to the Energy Bill that commits the Government to a strict timeframe for the consultation.

This creates a further opportunity for MPs to urge the Minister for more when the Energy Bill returns to the House of Commons in mid-October. I will write again closer to the time with more details.

All this activity in both Houses of Parliament shows what our collective efforts have done. Before our campaigning started a few years ago, community energy was not a topic that MPs, Lords or Baronesses repeatedly pushed at Parliamentary debates. Now they do – and Ministers are responding ever more positively. Action is the measure of success, not words. But the right words in Parliament are a vital ingredient. Our collective advocacy has done this.

Find out more by visiting the Power for People website.

Power for People – A £10 Million Victory!

In response to the huge public and Parliamentary support for our campaign for more community renewable energy, the Government have just announced a new £10 million Community Energy Fund for England.

This is a very big success indeed. It is the first substantial action from Government to help community energy in over six years. The fund is intended to see many more community-run renewable generation schemes get off the ground.

Our collective efforts have turned things around and this is definitely a cause for celebration. My thanks to you for helping to make this wonderful success happen.

To recap, our campaign has brought the majority of the House of Commons – 325 MPs, including 128 Conservatives – on board in support of the Local Electricity Bill, which would enable community energy schemes to sell their power to local people.

We then used this support to see the Government’s Energy Bill amended in the spring, introducing two new clauses that were worded the same as the Local Electricity Bill. But the Government opposed these clauses and so intended to remove them. However, this risked them losing a House of Commons vote because of the remarkable amount of MP and public support we had gathered.

This led to Andrew Bowie promising Parliament in June that the Government would bring forward an alternative proposal to enable growth in community energy. He has kept his word.

Whilst we must call on our elected representatives and the Government to do much more to help stop the climate crisis and save the natural world, it is equally important to thank them fully and sincerely when they do take significant action that will help.

We are making plans on how to progress from here. Whilst the fund is very welcome, there is much that could still be done to see more community renewable energy across the UK.

Bromley Council’s Treemendous Tree Watering

We want you to be aware that following the planting of almost 1600 street trees earlier this year, Bromley Council’s Treemendous initiative is continuing with these newly planted trees now being watered each week.

If you are able to support this work by also watering newly planted trees that may be near you, that would be really appreciated. This will help ensure that these trees will properly establish and grow to maturity and thank you for support with this. Information about tree watering can be found on the Bromely Council’s website.

Bromley council’s tree-watering programme aims to help new trees get established and grow successfully. Thank you to Tree Friend residents who are supplementing this with additional watering, especially in the summer months, to ensure they flourish in the early stages of their life.

Watering a new young tree

The video above shows how to successfully water a new young tree.

If you plan on watering a nearby tree, please ensure you follow the correct method when doing so.

Only carry enough water at one time that you are physically fit enough to carry, and no more than 10 litres if you are a woman or 15 litres if you are a man.


With all our new and existing trees, regular watering is really helpful, especially now, during warmer weather summer months. As part of this, our contractor waters each newly planted tree with 50 litres (11 gallons) of water per week over the summer months, helping ensure they are kept in the best health possible.

You may not be aware, but you do not necessarily need to use fresh water to water the trees. Wastewater left over from washing, rinsing, or showering is safe for the trees, as well as rainwater collected in water butts. However, we do advise you not to use water that may contain harsh chemicals such as bleach.

When watering a newly planted tree, please use the green filling bag. Place the water in the small opening at the top of the bag, rather than the central opening around the trunk of the tree. These bags ensure that a steady, slow stream of water is fed to the tree base, maximising water usage and tree health. Please familiarise yourself with the health and safety information relevant to watering activity.

Tree Friends are also being invited to suggest where new trees could be planted In the 2022 planting season, 231 of the 1250 new trees planted in the borough were sourced directly from resident requests.

If you know anyone who would like to support our trees, please do encourage them to become a Tree Friend. As Tree Friends, you work diligently with the Council to help support us in our goals for a greener borough. Please ask them to sign up here to become a Tree Friend, where they can also report issues with trees and find out more about how to water our trees.

Once again, we would like to thank you for your continued support in looking after Bromley’s new and existing trees. If you would like to find out more, please visit www.bromley.gov.uk/Treemendous

Power for People – July Update

Last month our proposed legislation to enable growth in community renewable energy was debated by MPs on the Energy Bill Committee.

To recap, we are calling for community-run renewable energy schemes to be able to sell their clean power locally. In recent months we organised for this to be included as clauses in the Government’s Energy Bill, currently progressing through Parliament.

We have always said we are open to an alternative, if it would genuinely help community energy grow. The Government will hopefully bring forward an alternative proposal to empower widespread community energy sector growth and that full details will be announced before the next Parliamentary stage of the Energy Bill.

This is highly promising and, if genuine, could mean a big success But, rest assured, we are taking nothing for granted and await to see the detail of the Government’s proposal, expected in September after Parliament’s Summer Recess.

Years of campaigning to bring over 320 MPs on board have led to this. The BBC’s coverage of the recent letter that we organised to the Energy Secretary of State, Grant Shapps, asking him to support what we are calling for and signed by over 60 national organisations, will have helped too

The progress we have made is in no small part thanks to the tireless efforts of supporters like you who have repeatedly written to your MP, attended our events and shared our message. Thank you.

Our work, from giving people bespoke advice when writing to their MPs, to co-ordinating groups of MPs to speak in support in the Houses of Parliament, have all led to the imminent proposal from the Government. To see this over the line, we will need more of the same. And for that to happen, we need more funds.

To find out more and how to support their campaign, please visit the Power for People website.