How a rise in energy bills has seen a surge in sign ups for electricity generation schemes

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports on how a growing number of community groups are producing their own energy amid a worsening cost of living crisis

Since the meteoric rise in energy prices, thousands of customers have signed-up to join community schemes that generate electricity.

There are now hundreds of small groups creating energy around the UK- but many of those involved say government is failing to support them. A vital subsidy has been removed and community energy was left out of the recent energy strategy almost totally.

Now 347 local councils are supporting efforts for a legal change to make it easier for community energy groups to sell power.

Their schemes use the local resources of wind, water and sunlight to create power - but at present they need to sell that electricity to a major energy company.

The cost and complexity of distributing it direct to households is too great.

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Unpublished data given to ITV News by Community Energy England shows customers have created 492 community energy organisations - 270 are now generating electricity.

It's estimated they produce enough to power up to 200,000 homes - but many in the sector say more is possible with better support.

Duncan Law, Community Energy England's Chief Executive told us: "The reason community energy has stalled is that the government, whilst saying that it's really important and they support it, they have done nothing. They promised a plan in their net zero strategy and there was no plan".

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The government told ITV News it is " supporting this work through various UK-wide funding schemes that are enabling local areas to tackle these goals in ways that best suit their needs".

But it accepts that more could be done in future and says it will consider community energy in a future strategy.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of customers want the UK to plug into this growing movement of people power.

You can find information on how to spot a viable roof for a local solar energy scheme in their Roof Spotters Guide.