361 Energy CICAbout our organisation
361 Energy CIC is a not for profit social enterprise whose aims are to promote energy saving and renewable energy in North Devon. It’s founder, Thomas Store, brought together a group of like-minded local residents with experience in the energy and sustainability sector to form the organisation in December 2011. The other founding members were Juliet Bidgood, Nicola Corrigan, Tim Cox, David Relph and Paul Rogers.
We held our official launch events in June 2012 at Ilfracombe Junior School and Braunton Countryside Centre. These helped us recruit members for our first project, advising 40 Households in Braunton and Ilfracombe on energy saving for a period of a year. This was part of an EU project called SEACS, Sustainable Energy Across the Common Space. There were other partners for this project in Devon, Dorset, Wiltshire and Brittany and best practice was shared between the groups.
Sadly, one of our founding members, Tim Cox, died in August 2013. He had also previously been the Director of Trans-Send in Ilfracombe and actively involved in the sustainability sector in North Devon as a full time volunteer for a decade. He was a great mentor for the rest of us.
In September 2013 and September 2014 we organised our Green Open Homes events known as 361 Green Doors. These provided local residents the opportunity to visit homes with energy saving and renewable technologies across North Devon.
We have also organised renewable energy tours. In June 2013 we organised a day tour for local residents and partners from France on the SEACS project. We have also organised tours for a number of schools in North Devon. In October 2014, we organised 3 days of visits across Devon for a South Korean television crew filming a documentary about climate change and renewable energy in the UK. This was broadcast on South Korean Television in January 2015.
During 2013 we set up the 361 Empower project to assist local residents struggling to pay their energy bills. This was set up as a pilot project in Ilfracombe after a grant from the Devon Funding Network. The initial aim of the project was to help residents and landlords access funding for boiler replacements and insulation upgrades for their properties. The project was expanded to help residents across North Devon after we received a grant for one year from the Ebico Trust in Spring 2015. We were also part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s Big Energy Saving Network between September 2015 and March 2016, which was in partnership with North Devon Homes. The aims of these projects were to help residents save money by switching to cheaper energy tariffs, advise on energy and water debt, access grants for upgrades such as the Cosy Devon Central Heating Fund and train front line workers on helping those in fuel poverty.
We organised our first 361 Energy Fair in September 2013 in Barnstaple Pannier Market. This included the latest electric vehicles, installers of renewable and energy saving technologies, environmental groups, local food stands and entertainment. We hope for this to become an annual event with subsequent Fairs in November 2015 and November 2016
From the time 361 Energy was set up, we were keen on developing community owned renewable energy. Between September 2014 and August 2015, we were part of the RegenSW Community Energy Accelerator programme, funded by Devon County Council and the Esmee Fairbain Trust. In the summer of 2015 we received a grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) to carry out free Feasibility Studies looking at potential sites for solar PV in Barnstaple and Ilfracombe. The hope is to fund some of these projects by community share issue. This project is in partnership with RegenSW and Communities for Renewables CIC.
We have also worked closely with schools since we were set up. This has included organising energy audits, arranging renewable energy tours, holding debates, education events using green screen technology and displaying our energy bike.
In 2016 we were awarded ‘Best Business in the Community’ at the North Devon Journal Business Awards.
Our current team includes Paul Rogers, Thomas Store, Nicola Corrigan, Austin Philp, Gwen de Groot, Tara Bowers, Ian Godfrey and Peter Smith. If you are concerned about Climate Change and energy issues and would like to get involved with our organisation, please contact info@361energy,org