Residents are being asked to help shape a new £500,000 project, hoping to get make Cornwall more environmentally friendly.
Cornwall Council and Council of the Isles of Scilly are launching the creation of a Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP).
The project, which will be developed with residents and businesses across the region, will 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.
As well as examining the type of technologies and fuels needed, the Local Area Energy Plan will propose required alterations and additions to existing energy infrastructure and make recommendations to help secure affordable energy supplies for the future.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are the first UK rural and island region to carry out a Local Area Energy Plan.
Residents, businesses and other energy users will have the chance to play a key role in developing the project through a range of engagement activities including the setting up of a panel made up of a representative sample of 50 Cornwall and Scilly residents.
The panel will meet to debate and recommend solutions for decarbonising the region’s energy systems and ensure the LAEP suits residents’ future energy needs. There will also be community roadshows and youth-focused engagement sessions, as well as a variety of events designed for the region's businesses that will allow attendees to learn more, ask questions and understand how they can get involved.
Martyn Alvey, Cabinet Member for environment and climate change at Cornwall Council, said: “The development of this plan will be a crucial element of the work that we need to do to work towards a secure energy future for the climate of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
“It will help us to better understand the impact of our current energy use on the environment around us and how we can use this understanding, not only to decarbonise but to grasp the opportunity, achieve energy security and make our area an exemplar for skills and innovation on the way to net zero.”
Harry Legg, Lead Member for Environment Services and Climate Change at the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “Nowhere in Britain is more exposed to the impacts of climate change than the Isles of Scilly, so we are well aware of just how important our transition to a net zero future is."We’re fully committed to working with our partners at Cornwall Council to ensure this plan works for our unique home, and look forward to engaging with islanders beginning in July."
Jon Rattenbury, Programme Manager of South West Net Zero Hub, said: "We’re delighted to be supporting Cornwall and Isles of Scilly councils to undertake the country’s first rural local area energy plan. "We all need to work together to meet our collective net zero ambition and we are keen to learn from the innovative approach here to share with others."