Chiltern Hills Community Energy (CHCE) has been recently established by Henley Town Council’s Climate Emergency Working Group in order to meet their renewable energy objectives, covering a wide area of Henley and beyond. Working in partnership with Reading Community Energy society (RCES), CHCE’s first steps have been to identify suitable buildings (public, community and commercial) where solar panels could be installed, offering favourably priced electricity to the users. RCES will provide financial, technical and administrative management on behalf of CHCE and surplus income from electricity generated will go into a community fund to be used for energy efficiency projects.
Chair of the Working Group, Tony Hoskins said “This is an important step to address climate change for this area. Whilst Covid 19 remains the key issue for the moment, the impact of climate change will not go away and we need to act now to ensure we can start to mitigate its effects. We called the group “Chiltern Hills” because we recognised Henley is not an island – if we can help reduce emissions in the areas around Henley that will be to the benefit of us all. Our focus is on large, high daytime energy consumption buildings within the whole RG9 postcode. These include public community buildings (education, cultural, sports, medical and social care, emergency services and council buildings), as well as commercial and industrial buildings. If any private building users want to discuss this opportunity, they can email me firstname.lastname@example.org . Once we have explored the opportunities for solar panel installations, we will then look at other forms of renewable energy”.
A member of the working Group, Jackie Walker, who lives in Bix and Assendon Parish, said “We have already started to look for buildings outside of Henley’s boundaries that could be suitable for CHCE to approach. I am pleased we are taking this more inclusive approach of covering the area to include Henley’s neighbouring and nearby parishes, providing access to the collective benefits offered by CHCE”.