Exeter Community Energy named a Finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Awards

ECOE Members

Exeter, Devon, August 23, 2021

Exeter Community Energy (ECOE) has been shortlisted in the UK Social Enterprise Award, recognising it as one of the leading social enterprises in the country.

ECOE is a finalist in the Environmental Social Enterprise category. It uses income from its ten solar power installations to bring about practical change in our community by addressing energy related challenges. ECOE hopes these sites will return over £170,000 to the community through its community fund over their 20-year lifespans.

The shortlisting celebrates outstanding achievements during 2020’s pandemic challenges.  From September 2020-March 2021, ECOE’s Healthy Homes for Wellbeing anti-fuel poverty project helped 1145 households to save over £1m collectively, nearly £900 per household on average. ECOE returned nearly £20,500 in interest to its members – primarily members of the local community – for the investments they made to set up the organisation. In 2019/2020 ECOE awarded £6,990 to 11 community groups through its ECOE community fund, to fight climate change and fuel poverty. This year’s ECOE community fund remains open to applicants – visit https://www.ecoe.org.uk/ or email lenka@ecoe.org.uk for more details.

In 2020 ECOE’s renewable energy generation prevented the emission of 88 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to the emissions from 20 petrol-powered vehicles for a whole year. So far in its existence, ECOE has generated 1.59GWh of electricity, and saved 567 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

The UK Social Enterprise Awards run by Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises, recognise the nation’s most pioneering social enterprises. ECOE will be joining other shortlisted organisations at the prestigious awards ceremony held at London’s iconic Guildhall on 8 December.

Commenting on being shortlisted, ECOE director Andy Extance said:

Following the recent release of the IPCC’s big climate change report, we’ve heard about a lot of people becoming despondent about the state of the world. However community energy groups like ECOE give local people the chance to do something practical. We at ECOE are delighted that our continuing success in driving positive change has been recognised by another award nomination. However, this is all about our community. Our success is just a reflection of the work of our team, the backing of our members and supporters, and the great relationships with our partners.

Commenting on the Awards, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK Peter Holbrook said:

The UK Social Enterprise Awards are back, bigger and better than ever before. We have had a record number of applications this year, all of which have showcased the strength, dynamism and resilience of the social enterprise community through what’s been an incredibly difficult and uncertain period. Over the course of the pandemic social enterprises have been going above and beyond the call of duty to support their teams, the individuals, and communities they work with, showing the grit, determination and innovation so inherent to this sector. They’ve been operating directly on the frontline of the crisis, launching new products and pivoting their business models to meet the needs of communities and society as a whole. The Awards are all about celebrating the achievements of the UK’s social enterprise movement, which is showing us that another way of doing business is possible – one which has never been more important as we look to build back better and address the climate emergency.