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Thursday 17 August 2017
17 August 2017 - NEWS UPDATE
Community Energy

Ground-breaking community scheme for Isle of Wight

Utility giant SSE is to power a groundbreaking community energy scheme on the Isle of Wight that will enable islanders to reduce energy costs and invest in sustainable community projects.

The Ecoislands Community Energy scheme will be run by Ecoislands as part of their flagship project that will see the Isle of Wight become renewable energy self-sufficient by 2020.

The scheme will reduce the energy footprint of the island, increase energy security, reduce bills for residents and fund a raft of community initiatives, and will be at the heart of a much wider vision that encompasses renewable generation, smart grid, energy storage, alternative fuels and home energy management. SSE will donate £1 per account per month for every one of its customers on the Isle of Wight who joins the Ecoislands Community Energy scheme.

The project will also provide Ecoislands Partnership CIC with funds proportional to sign-ups when thresholds are reached, ranging from £100 once 10 accounts are registered to £1 million when 100,000 accounts are registered. In a single year the scheme could earn over £2 million to be invested in a range of community projects.

As the owner of the energy distribution network on the Isle of Wight, SSE is an integral partner in the development, delivery and growth of the Ecoislands vision. To date SSE has supported, funded and initiated a number of projects on the island, including installing electric vehicle charging points, and is supporting a bid to host a two year commercial hydrogen trial.

Future plans are being developed for an in-home energy management system for island residents that will enable people to control their energy use remotely using a smart phone or computer. In the longer term, Ecoislands hopes to generate enough renewable energy on the island that the surplus can be sold back to the grid, further reducing bills for those signed up to the scheme.

SSE's Chief Executive, Ian Marchant, said: "SSE is extremely proud to be Ecoislands' national energy partner and to be part of such an innovative, community driven project. We have a long standing record of engaging with communities, and our partnership with Ecoislands and today's launch of the Community Energy scheme is our latest commitment to the communities we serve, live and work in.

"At SSE we believe decarbonising enterprises such as this are a significant and necessary part of our future energy market."

Ecoislands Founder and CEO, David Green, explained: "With the community on board with this idea we can shift the old paradigm and put energy back where it belongs: in the heart of the community. SSE have been partnering with us in a really dynamic way. They believe, as we do, that community energy is the way of the future. The scheme that we are pioneering on the Isle of Wight will offer a replicable model for how communities can achieve renewable energy self-sufficiency and create a more secure future for their residents."

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