Delivered as part of the Energy-PIECES project this report was developed during a secondment at EDF Energy.

Authors: Pip Roddis and Rosie Robison

Energy infrastructure projects impact upon on host communities in various ways. What is the role of community funds in mitigating and compensating for these impacts? How are these funds best spent to maximise benefits? This report tackles these complex energy policy questions through the lens of Social Value, using EDF Energy’s Hinkley Point C (HPC) nuclear power station in South West England as a case study.

Social Value is a rising policy agenda in the UK, formalised in legislation by the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. It refers to social, economic and environmental benefits whose value is not captured in financial flows. Whilst multiple tools and methodologies are available to measure Social Value, there is little consensus on which method is best to use in different contexts. This report reviews options and considers how best to measure Social Value in the context of major energy infrastructure projects such as HPC.

The report finds that value is highly contingent and subjective, and that what is valuable is not always tangible. It therefore emphasises the importance of qualitative measures of Social Value alongside quantitative data or monetary estimates, recognising the limits of assigning financial values to some types of outcome. It also stresses the importance of involving stakeholders to find out what matters to them and what they most value.

These conclusions inform how the £20 million HPC community fund can most appropriately be evaluated in terms of Social Value, as well as offering insights into how future spend is best allocated. They also have relevance to the wider energy sector by informing how community funds can effectively be utilised to deliver Social Value in the context of major energy infrastructure projects.