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  • Grants are available to not-for-profit organisations with environmental and community projects that restore derelict land, prevent pollution, provide public amenities or encourage biodiversity and are located within five miles of a qualifying Veolia site in England or Wales.

    Deadline 31st May 2018!

    Learn more!

  • Closes: 5pm, 30 April 2018

    The Community Energy Fund aims to help community groups develop and deliver energy projects which will benefit Islington residents. Islington Council wants to find ways to spread the word about energy efficiency to residents and both encourage and support them to use less energy.

    Any constituted groups with charitable aims across Islington who would like to carry out an energy-related project can apply for funding. Check here for more information.

     


    Islington is inviting people with bright ideas for dynamic local energy projects to apply for funding to help turn them into reality.

    A dozen ideas and projects have won funding in the first round of the Community Energy Fund and are now in the works – including plans for a bicycle-powered boom box at Cape Adventure Playground.

    The 12 successful schemes and ideas also included a replacement lighting project at Caxton House Community Centre in Upper Holloway, that will see its lights replaced with LED bulbs to save up to three tonnes of carbon per year, cutting their energy bills by hundreds of pounds.

    Elsewhere, Newbery House Co-operative in Canonbury, Elizabeth House Community Centre in Highbury and Elthorne Pride in Upper Holloway have been funded to carry out feasibility studies into solar panel and battery storage projects.

    As the first round of grant awards is announced today (9 March), applications also open for the second round of funding to get projects off the ground. Initial funding is also available for groups who need to carry out feasibility studies or research to develop a new energy project or idea from scratch.

    Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “I’m really impressed with the enthusiasm and imagination I’ve seen in the applications for the first round of funding.

    “I’m already looking forward to seeing these projects come to fruition, and hearing about other schemes and bright ideas for generating power at a local level, cutting energy bills and reducing the borough’s carbon footprint.

    “The Community Energy Fund is a great grass-roots initiative that can literally put power in the hands of residents, community groups and charitable organisations.”

    Rudi Schmidt of Cape Adventure Playground said: “We are delighted to be receiving money from the Islington Community Energy Fund. We will be teaming up with Electric Pedals to produce a bicycle-powered electricity generator and boom-box.

    “Not only will this provide an exciting hands-on opportunity for the children to learn about how electricity is generated, but it will also provide us with energy-saving equipment that can be used on a daily basis at Cape, at events across the service and in our local community.”

    Feasibility grants of between £250 and £2,500 per project are available, and grants run up to £15,000 per project. The total fund available is £120,000, provided by the borough’s carbon offset fund – money paid by developers to offset the emissions they generate while building. The council also wants to hear from Islington Community Energy Groups who are investment-ready.

    Further information on the fund and application forms can be found at http://www.energyadvice.islington.gov.uk/energy-advice-team/community-energy or by contacting the Islington Council energy advice team at energy.advice@islington.gov.uk.
  • Community Energy London (CEL) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, that thirteen solar projects are to be supported across eight London boroughs!

     
    The London Community Energy Fund (LCEF) was announced in 2017 in the Mayor’s Draft Solar Action Plan, with £400,000 allocated to support feasibility studies for community solar projects. Today’s first tranche of funding will direct £150,000 to bring forward 1MW of solar PV capacity on schools, churches, sports centres, and even a city farm.

    Community Energy London Chair, Syed Ahmed said: 

    “London has a number of fantastic community solar projects installed on buildings ranging from schools and universities to churches and tower blocks, all of which have been created, developed and funded by local community groups. The government’s closure of the Urban Community Energy Fund was a major blow to the ambition of groups looking to develop further projects. We are therefore pleased to see the Mayor has acted on recommendations made by the sector – as set out in Community Energy London’s report, ‘Realising the Vision’ – and taken action to establish the London Community Energy Fund
    “CEL look forward to working with the Mayor to realise his ambition for London to become a zero carbon city and provide cleaner affordable energy to Londoners.”

    CEL will be working with the GLA over coming months to encourage both existing and new groups to apply for future tranches of funding, and also looking to expand feasibility funding into areas such as energy efficiency projects and fuel poverty alleviation. 



    Winning projectFundingProject
    Battersea Arts Centre Solar (Wandsworth) – CREW£15,000Development work for a project to install ~50kWp of solar on the roof of the Battersea Arts Centre, and feasibility for energy storage on the site.
    Ealing Schools – Ealing Transition£15,000Look at the feasibility of installing solar panels on five schools in the Borough of Ealing, hoping to achieve up to 140kWp of solar capacity.
    South East London Community Energy (Greenwich)£14,999To produce business cases for the installation of a combined total of 70kWp of solar on two leisure centres in Greenwich.
    RBKC Community Energy (Kensington & Chelsea) – Repowering London£14,933To develop community solar projects on sites such as schools, community buildings, a hospital and a leisure centre which could produce up to 500kWp of solar power.
    Energy Local Brixton (Lambeth) – 10:10£14,878Technical and financial modelling of the impact of battery storage, and an assessment of capacity and feasibility for solar PV on ten housing blocks in Lambeth.
    Caversham Group Practice (Camden) – Power Up North London£12,940To develop a project to install about 29kWp of solar panels on the roof of the Caversham Group Practice (CGP), and look at the use of battery storage to use extra energy outside daytime hours.
    Heathview Tenant’s Cooperative Solar Power Project (Barnet)£12,670To undertake feasibility assessments of the roofs of housing buildings to establish if up to 50kWp of solar could be installed.
    LUX (Camden) – Power Up North London£11,500A feasibility study for the installation of ~34kWp of solar panels on LUX, an international arts agency based within Waterlow Park, Camden, and the possibility of installing battery storage that could enable charging electric vehicles overnight.
    Walworth Methodist Church Solar Project (Southwark) – SE24£11,425Looking at the installation of ~50kWp of solar on the large, multi-building facility.
    Calthorpe Energy Lab (Camden)£9,775The completion a feasibility study and design for a solar PV installation for a community centre in Kings Cross, and also draft a share offer.
    Kentish Town City Farm (Camden) – Power Up North London£9,700Development work from the technical feasibility assessment of the roof of a stable block for a ~11kWp solar PV installation and the the production of a community share offer.
    Rooftop Solar PV at Hornsey Girls School (Haringey): En10ergy£4,900Expansion of existing solar installation on the roofs of the school which could provide up to 100kWp of solar electricity.
    New River Sports Centre (Haringey) – En10ergy£4,500Development of a business case to install ~50kWp of solar panels on the roof on the spectator stand of the New River Sports Centre in Haringey.
     

    Dr. Giovanna Speciale, CEO, South East London Community Energy, said: The London Community Energy Fund has provided vital support to community energy groups in London. It allows us to bring the benefits of renewable energy to schools, churches, and leisure centres. We are delighted to be working with Mayor to transform London into a clean, green, affordable city.”

     

    Afsheen Kabir Rashid, COO and co-founder, Repowering London said: “We are committed to creating local energy within socially-deprived neighbourhoods and challenging urban environments. The Mayor’s funding will help us perform technical assessments at schools and community buildings in Dalgarno in Kensington. Working with local residents and community groups, we can deliver community-owned solar energy, along with real opportunities for local tradesmen, residents, and young people.”

     

    For further information on CEL, visit www.communityenergy.london – or contact Fleur Disney on Fleur.Disney@communityenergy.london

     

  • London sets fire to over half its waste.
    Two million tonnes of waste were sent to incinerators or Energy from Waste facilities last year – more than doubling in the last decade.
     
    Incineration at an Energy from Waste facility is the main alternative to landfill, as electricity and heat can be generated from the waste.
     
    But levels of incineration show no signs of slowing down in the capital. The cost of incineration is a disincentive and along with export restrictions coming into force from China and the possible impact of Brexit, London needs to carefully consider how it will manage the amount of waste it generates.
     
    As the city strives to be greener and more sustainable, urgent change is needed to stop recyclable and biodegradable material being incinerated.
     
    The London Assembly Environment Committee publishes its report, ‘Waste: Energy from Waste’ today, which examines how the benefits of Energy from Waste can be maximised and the impact on the environment reduced.
     
     The report found:
    • Recyclable materials are unnecessarily going to incineration, including materials, such as plastic, that are potentially hazardous to health when burnt.
    • London sends some of its waste abroad and to other parts of the UK.
    • Energy from Waste plants do not sort recyclable waste as part of the process, as this is seen as the responsibility of residents, businesses and local authorities.
    • Not all boroughs offer separate food waste collections, so food waste is being burnt, rather than going to environmentally friendly processes, such as anaerobic digestion.
    • London needs to reduce the amount of waste being sent for incineration and burn less organic and plastic waste, as well as recyclable materials.
    Leonie Cooper AM, Chair of the Environment Committee, said:
     
    “We have got to get a grip on the amount of waste being sent to incineration. Burning recyclable and organic materials is wasteful and potentially harmful and as London is expected to grow, we urgently need to reduce the amount being sent for incineration and to separate out useful materials.
     
    Once these materials are burnt, they are lost forever and can’t be used within a circular economy.
     
    Incineration can no longer be relied upon to manage our waste effectively.
    Energy from Waste does have its benefits in generating heat and power, but, along with exporting waste elsewhere and sending waste to landfill, this should really be an option of last resort.”
  • On 31st Jan 2018 the Mayor made a series of announcements including:
    “……aims to make homes warmer and energy bills more affordable, workplaces more energy efficient, and supply London with cleaner and more local energy sources, like solar, in our homes and businesses. The announcements included promises for new funding for fuel-poor homes, testing new and innovative ways to reduce energy bills down to near zero through whole-house ‘eco-refurbishments’ and a £10m commercial boiler scrappage scheme.
     
    City Hall will buy locally generated cleaner energy and use it to power TfL buildings and TfL will work with the company Engie on the major retrofitting programme which once completed will have the combined potential to provide 1.1MW of [solar]electricity.
     
    To read the full announcement click here.
  • The extreme cold recently has reminded everyone of the plight of those living outside – and council emergency measures for homeless people were called in twice already this season. For those able to afford heating for their homes, the weather conditions are merely uncomfortable when outside. Sadly, however, in the UK more than 30 per cent of people report being scared to heat their home for fear of large energy bills and last year alone over 34,300 people died from the cold – ‘excess winter deaths’ as they’re known.

    Such cold weather also increases risks of heart attacks, strokes and respiratory illness, all of which can be mitigated by maintaining a temperature between 180 – 210 Celsius indoors. It is difficult to accurately calculate the cost implications of fuel poverty on the NHS, however,  National Energy Action research suggests that health conditions that are impacted by a cold home – such as heart disease, arthritis and asthma – have cost tax payers in Britain around £5bn since 2013.

    Theresa May insisted that the difficulties faced by the NHS this winter were not a crisis. Yet in London – the capital city of the fifth largest global economy – more than 335,000 households were unable to sufficiently heat their homes in 2017. Given that the NHS will continue to be impacted, it seems that now actually IS a crisis point, that is, a critical turning point.

    These issues could have been foreseen and provisions made for the annual issue of cold weather. The difficulties are the consequence of inconsistent energy policy, under-regulated markets, inefficient housing stock, high-living costs and economic inequality.

    The Mayor has recently released the draft Fuel Poverty Action Plan from the GLA, but it is unlikely that many of these measures will be in place to ensure that next January there is not another ‘crisis’, pushing back medical operations and putting unnecessary pressure on the NHS.

    In the meantime, groups such as Fuel Poverty Action and the Energy Savings Trust have been doing important work to alleviate the situation, supported by London community energy groups such as South East London Community Energy, En10ergy, Brixton Energy and Energy Solutions who run fuel poverty advice sessions, DIY draught-busting and energy efficiency workshops for London residents.

    UK-wide network, Community Energy England, are supporting a new energy company, Solarplicity, that is campaigning to tackle fuel poverty this winter. Solarplicity offers 100% renewable energy which usually proves cheaper than the now ‘Big Five’ energy companies. As part of an awareness-raising scheme, the company are offering free solar panel installation for fuel poor households, available via the Housing Association.

    Clearly, it would be advisable for local councils to make the most of community energy groups in their boroughs; Community Energy England’s ‘State of the Sector’ (2017) report found that the community energy sector was able to turn £1.9m of project development funding into £190m in project finance and there is substantial knowledge, experience and expertise within the sector.

    January next year is still likely to be particularly hard for London’s nearly eight thousand rough sleepers, but we can help to ensure that those living with fuel poverty in the city do not suffer unnecessary health risks inside their own homes. If you are based in London and would like to find out more about the free workshops and advice sessions run by Community Energy London member groups, please get in touch. Similarly, if you know someone that may be affected by fuel poverty, let them know there are lots of solutions – and organisations who can help!

  • We’re excited to start the new year from such a strong position; in 2017 we went from a small informal interest group, to an organisation with a paid member of staff, a committee of officers and huge potential to grow in 2018. We’re working with the team at the GLA to help roll out more funding and development opportunities for London community energy groups and look forward to working more closely with our affiliates and members to help develop the sector.

    Community Energy London is now compiling showcase examples of successful community energy projects and is interested in learning more about community groups that are working to generate renewable energy, reduce energy demand or improve awareness about energy issues. If you would like your project to be considered as a showcase, please email fleur.disney@repowering.org.uk with ‘showcase’ as the subject line.

  •  

    Exciting news to follow on from last month; Islington council have announced a new funding opportunity which runs until 31st January 2018 at 5pm; this is designed to help local community groups to develop or deliver energy projects in the borough. This is not limited to solar-only projects and aims to also encourage groups who have little or no experience of community energy.

    The grant programme is proposed to cover all costs relating to a project or activity, including:

    • core costs (e.g. staff, office costs)
    • project costs (e.g. venue hire, project worker)
    • project management costs
    • capital costs (can support the cost of a renewable installation

    We’re hoping that this funding will encourage the formation of new community groups in Islington, so please do share with interested parties, and see here for more information.

  • The Community Energy Conference 2017 took place on 24th June 2017 at the Renold Building, University of Manchester. Over 300 delegates attended, helping to bring communities and community energy practitioners together.

    The report can be viewed by clicking here.

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