Power to the People! Energy Fair
The Energy Fair that was held on 24 Apr was absolutely terrific on a number of levels. Firstly, over 400 people chose to visit and be educated rather than being distracted elsewhere on a glorious Spring Saturday afternoon (the technology presentations may be found on the website). Secondly, the 30 suppliers said they found the Fair to have been better value than similar events they had attended in much larger towns. Thirdly, the 18 businesses in the Brampton Business Association benefited by more than £320 pounds from the raffle prizes being spent in their shops. Fourthly, as a result of the Fair Sustainable Brampton has won itself a mandate from the community to keep addressing energy issues on their behalf. Fifthly (if there is such a word), our Energy Plan should now attract greater community support because people now understand better where Sustainable Brampton is coming from, that it is a serious organisation and that it is effective. Finally, it was a happy social occasion in which people met old friends and acquaintances, made new contacts, established new partnerships and discussed a wide range of important issues over the course of the day.
There are 2 key messages arising from the Energy Fair which are worth emphasising again. The first is that some people still seem to think that Sustainable Brampton is about 'imposing' renewable energy solutions on the community - actually the truth is the complete opposite. We won't impose anything on anybody. We are asking the community to come to us with ideas for renewable energy and energy saving and we will then undertake to do everything in our power to help make those ideas a reality. Of course we will make our own assessments and suggestions, but without the ingredient of community support they mean nothing. We intend to act in partnership with the local authorities to take some of these ideas forward and have already offered to do so.
The second important message from the Fair is that the beneficiaries of energy saving measures and renewable energy investment are not just rich people who have lots of money to spend. A vital future role for Sustainable Brampton (within the new Community Trust) will be to attract outside investment into our community principally for the benefit the more disadvantaged sections of our society. Rich people can afford to look after themselves!
What happens next? Well, the energy plan is still taking shape and that will generate more renewable energy projects over the coming year. People will carry on talking about renewable energy issues and Sustainable Brampton will have a useful role in advising and assisting when they can. And lastly, we will continue to attempt to benefit locally from central government investment in the renewable energy sector – if it works then there may well be popular demand to hold a local Energy fair every year - so watch out for further announcements and do contact us if you have any questions!
Visit the Energy Action page from here to see the powerpoint presentations from the event. Click here to see the video of the event.