Once our website and social media channels were established, team members of the AURORA project in the Forest of Dean delivered regular face to face and online events to launch the AURORA project and talk to residents and community representatives about the mobile phone carbon footprint app, the plans for community solar, the share offer and about being part of the local energy community.Our community drop-in events in Lydney and Oxenhall were lively and busy with lots of conversations and debate, the refreshments and cake provided was most welcome!
Our online meetings allowed for good attendance without the need to travel and this format worked well for presentations and question and answer sessions. We have now delivered 6 workshops at Lydney Community Centre on a range of themes, exploring the potential role for members of a local energy community and prioritising a first set of priorities, a civic road map to sustainable action.
The positivity, enthusiasm and commitment of local people has been remarkable. We asked participants ‘what excites you about this project?’ to find out their perceptions. Some of the answers were:
- making a difference to the planet – we only have one, that’s it;
- the chance to easily invest in my community;
- the chance to impact positively on the environment;
- liked the idea of a community based energy project;
- helping the environment;
- saving money on energy bills;
- will raise awareness of personal energy consumption;
- linking people back to nature – we are part of nature ourselves but we have lost sight of this;
- we are able to offset and help a community scheme;
- monitoring my energy use; and
- doing my bit for the future of the planet.