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Useful websites

There are many sources of help and advice out there in cyberspace. Apart from the mainstream agencies, many community projects have their own websites, which can provide inspiration and ideas to other groups, and show what works and what doesn't. There's no point in repeating others' mistakes, but every reason to replicate others' successes.

Lots of useful advice can be gleaned from government-funded agencies, such as the Energy Saving Trust and Carbon Trust, while energy, carbon emissions and global warming are major issues for campaigning organizations such as Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace. But it is grassroots networks and projects that can really point the way to practical action in the community. Their connections and experience can prove invaluable to anyone contemplating their own community energy project.

Energy Saving Trust: government-funded social enterprise that provides households and communities with impartial advice.

Plan LoCal: a programme of work from the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), which is designed to give communities the confidence, knowledge and ambition to achieve a low-carbon future for their area.

Community Energy Coalition: brings together over 30 organizations, including the National Trust, Women's Institute and National Union of Students, to promote the involvement of communities in saving energy and generating low-carbon affordable heat and electricity.

Community Energy England: a body representing community energy organisations developing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Sharenergy: a not-for-profit organization, based in Shrewsbury, that helps communities find, build and own renewable energy generation, including hydro, wind, biomass, biogas and solar projects.

Marches Energy Agency: a registered charity and social enterprise specializing in the delivery of energy reduction schemes and renewable energy, to enhance energy security and resilience, and help create a low-carbon future for all.

Transition Network: aims to inspire, encourage, connect, support and train communities as they self-organise around the transition model, creating initiatives that rebuild resilience and reduce CO2 emissions

Low Carbon Hub: umbrella project linking low-carbon community groups across Oxfordshire, enabling exchange of ideas, and provision of services and advice.

National Energy Action: develops and promotes energy efficiency services to tackle heating and insulation problems of low-income households. Aim is to eradicate fuel poverty.

Project Dirt: London-based green network connecting people and organizations doing green projects; lots of ideas and energy.

Centre for Alternative Technology: an education and visitor centre, in Mid-Wales, that demonstrates practical solutions for sustainability. Ccovers all aspects of green living: environmental building, eco-sanitation, woodland management, renewable energy, energy efficiency and organic growing.

Sustainability West Midlands: not-for-profit company that works with business, public and voluntary sectors, aiming for an environmentally sustainable and socially just region.

Friends of the Earth UK: main website for this long-established environmental campaigning organization, with over 200 local groups in the UK and links to other FOE groups in 75 countries.

Greenpeace UK: website of UK branch of international environmental organization, working for an earth that is ecologically healthy and able to nurture life in all its forms.

Community Energy Online portal: 2013 coalition government portal dedicated to providing advice and information for community groups and local authorities, including 'How to and good practice guides' and 'Economics, finance and funding'