The Community Role in Developing Renewable Energy

Improvements in energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy are essential to ensure that future energy supply is both secure and affordable. Communities can play an active role in achieving this. 

At RCCE we aim to improve understanding of the challenges presented by peak oil and climate change, and raise awareness of the opportunities to create local sustainable energy solutions. We run training sessions about sustainable energy and we undertake energy audits of community buildings

Energy Hierarchy

Local initiatives should follow the Energy Hierarchy.
Reduce energy use.
Use energy efficiently
Generate renewable energy.

Energy Efficiency

Understand the potential for energy saving in homes and community buildings.
Promote and encourage changes in behaviour and use of energy saving measures (such as insulation).  

Renewable Energy

Understand which renewable energy technologies would be most appropriate and beneficial for your community; for individual homes, for community buildings or for the whole setttlement.

Funding Opportunities

Useful Links

Greening Campaign

Low Carbon Communities Network

Leapfrog - Energising Communities

Energy Saving Trust

Department for Energy Security and Net Zero

Centre for Sustainable Energy

Transition Network

Best Practice for Oil Buying Groups

Apply for Boiler Upgrade Scheme

Energy Audits for Community Buildings

Improving the energy efficiency of community buildings can increase the comfort, reduce fuel bills, lead to an increased use of the building and an increase in awareness of the need to use energy efficiently.

A building improvement programme can achieve all of the above, but a major difficulty for management committees is how to prioritise the work to be carried out. An energy efficiency audit report by RCCE guides you through the options available, enabling you to make accurate and cost-effective decisions about your building.
We will inspect your building and produce a full report including recommendations for steps to be taken to improve the energy efficiency, a detailed action plan to guide you, possible sources of funding and an overview of renewable energy options. We will also conduct an analysis of your energy bills to spot patterns in use and ensure you are getting value for money.


£500 + VAT for RCCE Members and £700 + VAT  for non-members

For more information please contact Sue Gibson: or call 01376 574330

Download an Energy Efficiency Audit Request Form

Energy Efficiency Audit Flyer

Smart Energy GB

Did you know that even though you are off mains gas you can get a smart meter for your electricity supply?

We are working with our partners in the ACRE Network and Smart Energy GB to raise awareness of the smart meter roll out. We’re promoting smart meters to off mains gas residents in Essex County.

We are proud to be working with Smart Energy GB to ensure that everyone has the same opportunities to engage in the smart meter rollout, regardless of personal circumstance or where they live.

Smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters will replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. Smart meters take regular readings and share these wirelessly, through a secure network, with your energy supplier. You don’t need Wi-Fi in your home for it to work and it won’t use your Wi-Fi if you have it, and even rural locations will be covered by the network which covers 99.25 per cent of Great Britain.
The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure. Between now and 2020, every home and micro-business across England, Scotland, and Wales will be offered a smart meter by their energy supplier. Over four million smart meters have already been installed.

What are the benefits of installing a smart meter?

A smart meter will enable you to see exactly how much energy you’re using, as you use it, and what it is costing in pounds and pence. Once you have a smart meter, you’ll only get accurate bills from your energy supplier, just as you do with your phone bill. No more estimated bills. No one from an energy supplier having to come and read your meter and there’s no extra cost to you the householder.  
In the future, smart meters will make switching between suppliers, or between credit and prepay, quicker and easier. If you are a prepay customer, you will also be able to top up online or via mobile phone.
Smart meters can only be installed by energy suppliers in a pre-arranged appointment and you will not be charged for installation.  When you are eligible depends on many factors, such as the age of your existing meter and the type of housing you live in.

To find out more please visit the Smart Energy GB website.

Oil Buying Syndicate

Join the Community Oil Buying Scheme for Essex, supported by RCCE and delivered by AF Affinity Ltd.

Here at RCCE we endeavour to support rural communities in Essex as best we can providing up to date information whenever possible, in these unprecedented times of a fuel crisis there are understandably major concerns about the cost of heating this winter. With this in mind RCCE supports the AF Affinity Ltd Oil Buying Syndicate who work to keep costs down for their members.  AF Affinity Ltd offer additional services such as a monthly prepayment plan to help you keep on track and advice on monitoring your usage, all to help you be better prepared for the winter months and there is no membership fee!

AF Affinity Ltd frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about the service please click here

Advice on monitoring your usage please click here

Information about the Monthly Prepayment Plan

Save towards the cost of your next fuel delivery by depositing a regular fixed amount each month. You can decide the amount you wish to contribute from as little as £25 per month. Putting aside a regular monthly amount during the summer and autumn months when usage is typically lower, will help you to keep ahead of the winter demand.

• Your agreed monthly prepayment amount will be drawn by Direct Debit on the last working day of the month

• In the month where an order is placed and the credit accrued by your regular payment doesn’t fully cover the invoice amount, the balance of the invoice will be drawn on or shortly after the 24th of the month following the invoice date.

To take advantage of the pre payment plan please complete and return both the Direct Debit mandate and pre payment application form by post.  No need to return a DD form if you already have a one set up.


Information about the Direct Debit Mandate

AF Affinity Ltd strongly encourage customers to set up a Direct Debit as the preferred payment method.

The advantages are;

• No need to pay at time of order 


• You will only be charged for the oil volume delivered to your tank

• Extended credit terms, money is drawn on or shortly after the 24th of the month following the invoice date

• An invoice along with a statement will be sent

• Access to monthly pre-payment plan

Under this system, no money will be taken until the oil has been delivered and you have been sent the invoice. A statement of account will also be sent, and payment will then be taken on or shortly after the 24th of the month following. Until the Direct Debit is set up, you will need to pay for your order by card.

Please complete and return by post to AF Affinity Limited, Honingham Thorpe, Colton, Norwich, Norfolk NR9 5BZ

To access the Direct Debit form for AF Affinity Ltd please click here

To access the monthly pre payment application please click here

For further information about AF Affinity Ltd and to register please visit:

This is a free scheme which allows you to opt out at any time (with written notice) Full Terms and Conditions can be found on the AF Affinity Ltd Website