A NEW Community Energy group will be launched in Otley in the New Year.

About 30 people attended a public meeting last week to hear the findings of the Otley Renewable Energy Feasibility Study.

Commissioned by the Town Council, the report looked at all kinds of options for increasing 'green' energy production, and improving energy efficiency, locally.

Its recommendations included exploring a programme of solar panel expansion and starting a community owned wind turbine.

The document also concluded that the formation of a community energy group would be a vital next step - and an agreement to do just that was reached at the meeting.

Town Council Chair Councillor Ray Georgeson (Lib Dem, Danefield) co-chaired the event at Otley Core with Councillor Mick Bradley (Green, Danefield).

He said: "We were absolutely delighted to have 30 people turn out to hear about our feasibility study and share ideas for action on community energy.

"We had input from officers from Leeds City Council and Groundwork, who run programmes to help insulate houses and will be actively looking at how we can do more on this during this winter.

"The meeting agreed to create a new community energy group for Otley and to meet again in the New Year to progress this.

"There was a high degree of enthusiasm for action on energy efficiency, more solar roofs and practical technologies such as heat pumps, plus a willingness to become more involved in campaigning as well as in facilitating practical projects.

"The town council will be supportive and assist in setting up the new group, as well as taking forward some practical project proposals in the New Year."

Cllr Georgeson also said he was grateful to all the residents who attended, adding: "I'm pleased that our investment in this as a policy area is proving to be popular and will make a difference."