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After a difficult 2016 it was a fantastic start to 2017 to see our own Kathy Smyth featuring in the New Years Honours List. Kathy works incredibly hard on behalf of the community energy movement, tackling the hard issues behind the scenes in an often hostile policy environment.

As well as her stalwart service on Sharenergy’s Board, Kathy is one of the founding Board members of Community Energy England, the community energy trade body.

Kathy says:

“I am passionate about the need to protect the planet from the impacts of climate change and community energy offers a practical way for individuals like myself to make a positive contribution. I am surprised and delighted to receive the MBE which came completely out of the blue. 

“Community Energy” is the term we use when groups of people come together to develop and manage low carbon heat projects such as biomass and power projects such as solar panels or wind turbines on a non-domestic scale.  We call it community energy because these schemes bring energy into common ownership.  Getting such schemes up and running takes an enormous amount of hard work and dedication by those involved who are usually volunteers and there are often many setbacks.  Members of community energy groups are generally motivated by their desire to make a direct contribution to tackling climate change and contributing to energy security through the harnessing of the Earth’s natural resources but a good, ethical and well run community scheme will also put benefits back into its community when it has the surplus and resources to do so.”

As an elected Board Member of Community Energy England it is a privilege to represent these groups and help to give them a voice at national level.    

As part of the Sharenergy team I am part of a fantastic network of individuals who share my beliefs and values and I am very proud of what Sharenergy staff, directors and community groups have achieved by working together.“

Huge congratulations for Kathy from all at Sharenergy HQ in Shrewsbury and on behalf of all the groups we work with.