Bude residents, businesses and organisations have been invited to take part in events aimed at 'shaping ambitious new plans' to make Cornwall's energy cleaner and more sustainable in addition to 'boosting the green economy'.
Cornwall Council and the Council of the Isles of Scilly have joined forces to host the engagement sessions next month as part of the development of a Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP).
The project is being created with residents and businesses across the region to look at how energy is used, supplied and managed.
It will identify and recommend required changes to local energy systems for heating, electricity, gas and transport and play a major role in helping the region become carbon neutral.
The event will take place at The Parkhouse Centre on September 8 between 4 pm and 7 pm.
There will also be an online interactive event with timings set to be announced in due course, say the organisers.
Martyn Alvey, Cabinet Member for environment and climate change at Cornwall Council, said: “In order to reduce harmful emissions, help Cornwall become carbon neutral and secure our future energy supplies we have to change the way we get and use energy in our homes, businesses and communities, whether through our heating, electricity use or transport.
“This Local Energy Area Plan is the crucial first step we need to do that and it builds on Cornwall’s track record in renewable energy innovation and ambitions to build new green industries, such as floating offshore wind and deep geothermal energy.
“We want as many of our residents and businesses as possible to give us their views on what they think about expanding forms of green energy in their communities, whether that is solar power, geothermal, wind power, heat networks or more electric vehicle charge points for example. Come to one of our events in person or online, talk to our energy experts and have a say on energy in your local area.”
Jon Rattenbury, SW Net Zero Hub Programme Manager said: "It is really positive to see this work progressing to the next stage. Part of the value of Local Area Energy Plans comes from the local engagement and building a shared understanding of the local challenges and opportunities in reaching net zero, so it will be great to see as many local people and organisations as possible share their views."
Attendees at the events can learn more about where our energy comes from, the LAEP process, what we hope to achieve and how they can get involved.
They can ask questions and register as a stakeholder in the LAEP process.
There will be further community events and youth-focused engagement sessions, as well as a variety of information sessions designed for the region's businesses that will allow attendees to learn more, ask questions and understand how they can get involved.
Residents are also invited to respond to a survey which aims to capture respondents’ views, opinions and attitudes towards green energy and can be viewed here.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the first UK rural and island region to carry out a Local Area Energy Plan.
As well as examining the type of technologies and fuels needed, the plan will propose required alterations and additions to existing energy infrastructure and make recommendations to help secure affordable energy supplies for the future.
Following the year-long engagement the LAEP will identify the most cost-effective way of delivering net zero for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly while boosting the green economy and attracting new jobs and funding.
The £500,000 project has been funded by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero through the South West Net Zero Hub.