It’s now or never. Candidates will be busy, canvassing, meeting and greeting, so you may have to go to them. A site visit with local movers and shakers with photo opp. built in maybe something they will welcome (although they may not have time until after the election - if they are elected this is still well worth doing!). For a Labour candidate it is an opportunity for them to see an important part of one of their “bold plans”, the Local Power Plan, in action, and to shout about how it very practically will ‘give the power back to people’. Make sure to emphasise the benefits your organisation delivers to local people. Tell us when you organise these photo opps with candidates.

Invite them to visit, do a very short film (1 minute), get great pics for their social media and campaign literature, and get them to post about it. Do lots of social media around it. We have a number of CE organisations who have arranged site visits including candidates meeting beneficiaries of energy advice work and the solar site that helps fund it. If you would like personal support to do this please get in touch.

Find out who you need to talk to
Firstly, find out which constituency you are in (after boundary changes) here. This will also give you a sense of which parties are likely to do well in your area. Remember support for the parties has shifted seismically since the 2019 election. If possible, we would encourage you to reach out to the two candidates most likely to win the seat. 

In many constituencies, candidates have already been selected for the next election. You can find a list here (scroll down to see the table).

Here is some guidance on writing to MPs or candidates.

See the Labour Coop Party's inspiring campaign page on community energy which includes great ideas, actions and templates you may want to do or adapt.

If you can’t find details for how to get in touch with a candidate, try looking up their local party. These can be hard to contact directly, so start off by emailing or writing to a local councillor from the party. Explain to them who you are, how community energy benefits local people and ask whether you can speak to key members of the local party and maybe do a presentation to a constituency party meeting. Sell them your vision for what more community energy could achieve with supportive policy and ask them to champion the sector in their local policy and action and in their General Election campaigning. They can also ask their election candidate to pledge to support the sector once they have been selected. Once their general election candidate is announced, ask to meet with them.

Explain what community energy could deliver… and tell candidates what is needed to achieve it
Try to develop a short pitch for what community energy could deliver for local people with the right support. Tell a story about what has been achieved so far and give them a sense of what support your organisation would need to fulfil its potential. See our very short Parliamentary Briefing and our more detailed ‘Manifesto policy recommendations’

Invite them to a site visit
MPs and candidates are usually keen to visit local projects. Site visits can be a good way to make the case for the value community energy delivers locally and are a good opportunity to ask politicians to support the sector publicly. You can find a guide on how to organise a successful site visit here.

If you have multiple sites, be strategic about which candidates you engage with. MPs at risk of losing their seats are more likely to be receptive to asks from local groups. And it is clearly more valuable to invest time in talking to candidates who have a realistic chance of becoming your MP. So if your organisation is spread across different sites in multiple constituencies, you might want to check this YouGov model for an indication of which seats may be up for grabs.