Climate Emergency into Positive Action

Thanks to those who joined us for our event on Friday evening, March 6th 2020, in the Lower Deck Café at the United Reformed Church, Russell Street, Tavistock. We were delighted to have had 50 people join us.

We kicked off with refreshments including a very tasty vegan Jambalaya from Blue Skies Catering. Many thanks to Julie Credicott.

We also had a display of our work for attendees to browse.

We held our short Annual General Meeting between 19:00 and 19:30. Minutes will be available by the end of April 2020. Prof. Pieter de Wilde, Graham Reed, Andy Coulson, Mozza Brewer, Kieran van Bussel and Kate Royston were re-elected to the Board and we were delighted to welcome Duncan Banks as a new Board member.

Very many thanks to the speakers who joined us for the evening. Their talks were motivating, informative and stimulated lively and positive discussion. Many thanks also to the TEC team (Board, Energy Advisors, experts) and all of you.

Our speakers

  • Jenny Ayrton from Art & Energy CIC
  • Cllr. Neil Jory who is Leader of West Devon Borough Council
  • Lesley Crawford from Tavistock Town Council
  • Ky Hoare from Regen
  • Kate Royston from Tamar Energy Community

We looked at some of the key issues which impact our ability locally (and more widely) to address the climate emergency. These include:

  • the importance of working together and building community support to deliver cooperative solutions,
  • ensuring that our housing is fit for the 21st Century,
  • developing mechanisms that enable local people to benefit more from our energy system, reducing costs, increasing local resilience and facilitating the journey to carbon net zero
  • enabling wider community ownership of renewable energy assets
  • providing tools and techniques to enable us all to take practical steps today for our own journeys.

These challenges impact all of us and most particularly the younger generation.

We’ll be publishing a summary of the event and the presentations shortly and we welcome your involvement and engagement.

It’s your future, and we know that many of you are bursting with ideas. Please come along and share them.

We used the ‘Show Your Stripes’ image ( to promote the event.

This image represents annual average temperatures for the planet from 1850-2018 using data from UK Met Office.

For those of you interested here’s some background information to TEC and our speakers.

Tamar Energy Community (TEC). Our mission is to localise energy. We’re a community benefit society, a locally owned, not for profit social enterprise. We provide independent energy support and advice and free home energy visits to those in need of support. We own 325 kWp of roof top solar and are developing initiatives to enable our local area to benefit from the smart energy revolution (

Cllr. Neil Jory will be talking about the importance of the climate and biodiversity emergency and how we should all work together to address it and take positive action.

Lesley Crawford from Tavistock Town Council will be sharing their progress.

Ky Hoare from Regen will be talking about ‘Communities and the Smart Energy Revolution’ (

Regen is a not-for-profit centre of energy expertise and market insight whose mission is to transform the world’s energy systems for a zero carbon future. Regen is based in Exeter.

Communities and the Smart Energy Revolution – “Being smarter and more flexible with our energy use is key to tackling the climate emergency. As we head towards a decentralised and decarbonised energy future, we need local and community participation to gain customers’ trust and engage people with the changes and benefits of using energy in a smarter and more flexible way.”

Regen is also involved in:

  • Power to Participate – a report exploring the role of communities in a future flexible energy system, setting out 13 key reasons why community and local energy organisations, widely seen as a valuable potential provider of flexibility services, are not playing a more active role in this market, and what we can do about it.
  • OpenDSR – a government funded project looking to demonstrate a concept for domestic demand side response (DSR) and support the development of a business model for the Energy Community Aggregator Service (ECAS), a community owned DSR aggregator and energy service provider.

As part of OpenLV Western Power Distribution (WPD) are looking to roll out the ground-breaking OpenLV platform which makes local electricity data available to communities and businesses.”

Tamar Energy Community (TEC) is one of the pioneering pilot community energy groups working with the OpenLV platform through our initiative ‘The Power in Your Hands’ ( We have been working with the local community particularly across Greenlands in Tavistock, St. Peter’s School, Tavistock College and LiveWest. We want to encourage an understanding of how our local community can benefit from the smart energy revolution if we all better understand how we are using energy, and use more locally generated renewable energy. This should help reduce our bills and our carbon impact.

Art & Energy CIC ( is a collective of artists seeking ways to use their skills to respond to the climate emergency. They approach our energy system through creativity, and work to make beautiful things that also give us green energy acting as a celebration and an antidote to fear and anxiety about the future.

An area of their work is creating community art including solar panels as art and energy generating installations.

They worked with us and the visitors to our Energy Fest in November to create an artwork of Tavistock, mainly supported by our younger community, imagining Tavistock in 2050.

We will be encouraging people at the event to contribute more to this.

The future of 21st century housing – is Community development the answer?

There is continued disappointment with the poor standards of housing that developers continue to build, and that government continues to allow. Domestic heating and hot water needs account for a significant proportion of our energy use. This could be dramatically reduced with high standards of building reducing the need for heating, and the use of renewable energy.

Developments by communities across the UK, and closer to home within the S. Hams and Plymouth suggest that better quality, energy efficient and affordable housing is possible. Community development can deliver housing that is fit for the 21st century, is fairer for all, and retains benefits locally.

We want to hear from you if you would like to help us progress this across our area.

TEC Community Share Offer – TEC owns six rooftop solar installations in Tavistock, Callington, Plymstock and Torpoint (325 kWp) which are hosted by schools and commercial enterprises including Mount Kelly. These enable the hosts to reduce their energy costs and carbon footprints; and deliver more local benefit from their energy spend. We would like to expand community ownership of these installations which can also provide a fair rate of return to investors. We’ll be explaining more.

What can I do? Many of us are trying to figure out what we can do to address our own carbon footprints and reduce our energy use. This could be through the way we shop, cook, heat and power our homes, travel etc. We’ll be sharing some ideas and initiatives and would like to hear from you. How would you like to get involved?