Event: Seminar: Municipal energy and the low carbon economy: An opportunity for local government

23 May 2017, 09:30–16:00
NCVO, 8 All Saints Street, London N1 9RL (10 mins walk from King's Cross Station)

Early Bird LGiU Members: £174.95 +VAT

Early Bird Non-Members: £224.95 +VAT

LGiU Members: £199.95 +VAT

Non-Members: £249.95 +VAT

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Read more - Learning and development


This seminar is a practical one-day introduction to the role of local authorities in delivering a low carbon and sustainable energy system. As councils continue to face serious financial pressures which impact on the ability to sustain local services, they increasingly need to look at the opportunities to generate more of their revenues by utilising their assets and resources more effectively and addressing the wider needs of their local communities in for instance tackling fuel poverty and creating a more resilient local economy.

Municipal energy is a return to the origins of modern local government in this country where councils ran their own energy companies and generated more of their income from local means. By using examples from the U.K.  the E.U. and the U.S.A, this seminar will:

  • Demonstrate how councils can take a leading role in moving from a centralised energy system based on fossil fuels to a decentralised clean energy system and why councils are best placed to deliver in tackling Climate Change.
  • Show how councils can use local energy projects as a catalyst for economic development, investing in infrastructure projects that can promote local sustainable growth and jobs, skills and training.
  • Illustrate how municipal energy can build local community capacity and demonstrate the leadership role of local government engaging more effectively with local people and communities.
  • Provide case studies of different models and archetypes for municipal energy.

This seminar is for Elected Members and officers with an interest in climate change, income generation, local political leadership and community engagement.


9:30 Registration and coffee

10:00 Introduction – An introduction to Municipal energy

  • Victorian origins – municipal enterprise
  • From nationalisation to privatisation
  • Low carbon energy systems in 21st Century

10:30 The transition to a low carbon energy system and the pivotal role of local government – lessons from Europe and the USA; new archetypes for decentralised energy.

  • Stadtwerke and Co-Operative energy movements in Europe.
  • Municipal energy models in the USA.

11:30 Developing and delivering local energy strategy – Assets, resources and finance.

  • The key ingredients of a local energy strategy
  • Investment and delivery options
  • Managing risks and rewards

12:30 Lunch

1:15 Building the local energy infrastructure – Public, community and private sector engagement.

  • How distributed energy systems work in practice.
  • Understanding your local energy assets.
  • Collaborative working and the leadership role of local authorities

2:00 Case studies – Local authority leadership role

  • Nottingham City Council – Robin Hood Energy a local supply company
  • Aberdeen City Council – District heating as a catalyst
  • Gloucestershire County Council – Standalone battery storage.

3:00 Ambitions and opportunities – what does the future hold for municipal energy and how are we going to get there?

  • Current policy environment post-Brexit.
  • Shifting priorities and resources – A strategic choice.
  • Future direction – Councils leading the low carbon transition.

4:00 Finish

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Who should attend?

Elected Members and Officers involved in sustainable energy, economic development, and commercial strategies for local authorities.


Mark Bramah is an LGIU Associate and was formerly the Director of APSE (the Association for Public Service Excellence) Energy, a collaboration of local authorities from across the U.K. with the aim of municipalising the local energy infrastructure. Mark has worked on renewable energy projects, local energy supply and improving front-line local government services.   He now runs his own business, Municipia and is a consultant and a trainer with local authorities and other public sector bodies. He is a member of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA).