Members of the Cornwall Residents’ Energy Panel have met to discuss how to achieve better energy security for the region including looking at how we heat homes, travel and generate energy.
The panellists were selected from across Cornwall by the Sortition Foundation which specialises in recruiting locally representative groups of people to give their views on specific topics.
They are meeting this month and next to learn about and debate the question: How should Cornwall transition to a net zero local energy system?
The Cornwall Residents’ Energy Panel is part of the government-funded Local Area Energy Plan being led by Cornwall Council and Council of the Isles of Scilly to make the region’s energy cheaper, more secure and sustainable as well as boosting the green economy.
When finished, the plan will recommend required changes to local area energy systems and infrastructure for heating, electricity and transport.
It is the first time a local authority undertaking a Local Area Energy Plan is using a residents’ panel as part of the process.
The panel is one of the ways that resident’s views on local energy are helping to inform the development of the Local Area Energy Plan.
Later this year there will be a public consultation on the draft Local Area Energy Plan where all residents across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will have an opportunity to contribute their views.
Cllr Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said:
“I want to thank everyone who expressed interest in becoming part of the Cornwall Residents’ Energy Panel and to those who were contacted by the Sortition Foundation to take part and start this important component in developing our Local Energy Area Plan.
“I look forward to our panellists sharing their opinions with the other residents on the panel and discussing key energy issues such as how we heat our homes, how we travel and how we generate renewable energy as they discuss.
“Don’t forget there will be more ways for everyone to tell us their views on the future of Cornwall’s energy needs and opportunities later this year when we start our public consultation on the Local Energy Area Plan.”
A total of 15,000 households across Cornwall were selected at random by the Sortition Foundation to receive a letter inviting them to apply to be part of the Cornwall Residents’ Energy Panel.
Anyone receiving the letter could register their interest and 50 of those registering interest were invited to join the panel. They were selected with the goal of ensuring the panel broadly reflects the makeup of Cornwall’s population.
Engagement specialists Copper Consultancy and the council’s technical contractor for the Local Area Energy Plan, City Science, are supporting the process.
The Local Area Energy Plan has been funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero through the South West Net Zero Hub.
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Story posted February 9, 2024