We need your views to inform long-term decisions about how energy is generated and used in and around the Isles of Scilly

We’re asking residents of the Isles of Scilly to complete an energy attitudes survey which will be used to draft a joint Local Area Energy Plan (LAEP) for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The aim of a LAEP is to set out how to move an area’s energy system to net zero and secure affordable energy supplies, over a particular timescale. The plan will identify and recommend required changes to local energy systems and infrastructure for heating, electricity, gas and transport.

The area being considered in this LAEP is the whole of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Cornwall Council is helping Cornwall strive to be carbon neutral by 2030. The Council of the Isles of Scilly declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ in 2019 and committed to “reducing carbon emissions for the Council’s own operations with immediate effect, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality for the organisation by 2030.” We have committed to working on a joint plan with Cornwall Council to achieve the objectives set out in our Climate Change Action Plan, specifically: “We will support our partners, stakeholders and the local community on their journeys to carbon reduction” and “We will work with our regional and national policy makers to support our carbon ambitions.”

It’s really important that everybody takes time to complete the LAEP survey because your views on topics ranging from offshore wind installations to domestic energy usage could ultimately affect whether such projects take place and where the required infrastructure could be located.

We understand that decisions relating to these issues are likely to be of considerable interest to residents and visitors due to the islands’ outstanding natural beauty, important conservation status and the dependence of the local economy on the natural environment. This is why we’re making sure we understand what you think about how energy is used, supplied and managed in the area before we begin to develop the plan.

How to complete the survey

You can complete the Local Area Energy Plan survey on the ‘Let’s Talk Cornwall’ website.

The survey runs from 25 July 2023 until midnight on 15 October 2023.

The survey questions are based on the government’s Public Attitudes Tracker.

An analysis of the results of the survey will be made available on the 'Let's Talk Cornwall' website following the closure of the consultation.

Further information about Local Area Energy Planning

The development of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LAEP is funded by a £500,000 grant from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero via the South West Net Zero Hub. Delivery of the LAEP will be carried out by Exeter-based technology company City Science, Copper Consultancy in Bristol, the University of Exeter, Penryn campus, and business engagement company Mylor Ventures.

Guidance for developing a LAEP recommends that the plans define a long-term vision for an area but should be updated approximately every 3-5 years (or when significant technological, policy or local changes occur).

Cornwall Council will be selecting a representative sample of 50 Cornwall and Isles of Scilly residents to sit on a ‘residents’ energy panel’ and debate potential solutions for decarbonising the region’s energy systems and securing residents’ future energy needs. Members of the panel will be chosen at random and will proportionately represent the populations of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Councillor Harry Legg, Lead Member for Environment, Environmental Services and Climate Change for the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said: “I encourage residents to respond to this survey to ensure the voices of those living and working on the islands will be taken into account when this information is used to inform decisions that will affect everyone with a connection to the islands. We do not know exactly what each of these decisions will be at this stage – but as you will see from the survey questions, they could relate to emerging technologies which enable decarbonisation across the region and the installation of infrastructure to support renewable energy, such as solar farms and gardens, geothermal plants and wind turbines.”

Councillor 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.”

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."

For more information and to register for news and updates on the plan, go to letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/laep

Image of a map of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly with logos of Cornwall Council and Council of the Isles of Scilly and text that reads: "What is a Local Area Energy Plan? https://letstalk.cornwall.gov.uk/laep"

Publishing date: 
Tuesday, 25 July, 2023