Some groups don’t deal with energy generation at all, preferring to focus on energy efficiency projects in their area, such as promoting the use of LEDs. Energy efficiency is a key element of a renewable energy project: the more efficient a building, the more feasible it is to power the building with renewable energy. To put energy efficiency into a national context, the much disputed nuclear station, Hinkley Point C, was predicted to generate 7% of the UK’s electricity requirements. However, energy experts predict that 7% of the demand could be simply saved through energy efficiency measures – meaning no need for unproven and potentially dangerous nuclear technologies.
Showcase of the projects
Using income from its community solar installations, Brixton Energy provide the following energy projects:
Home Energy Audits: including installation of energy efficient light bulbs and energy saving power down plugs at Elmore House and Styles Gardens.
Energy surveys: to ascertain the level of interest of residents in Brixton about information on saving money on energy bills etc.
Energy Advice sessions: Energy efficiency advice sessions are delivered locally, included draught busting workshops.
The Energy strand of Ealing Transition hold workshops on secondary glazing, tailored to the Edwardian and Victorian houses in the area.
Energy Solutions support households and communities around North West London who are experiencing fuel poverty, particularly the boroughs of Brent and Ealing. Projects include:
Free insulation and heating (ECO)
Under One Roof for vulnerable individuals in Brent home via visits to look at ways to help, such as delivering emergency help and advice for dealing with landlords, dealing with fuel debt, tariffs, switching and energy efficiency.
Cold Weather Support in Ealing (COSIE)
En10ergy has assisted Woodside High School to take up a Salix loan to replace £18,000 worth of LEDs, saving £9,000 a year. They also help local residents and businesses to negotiate bulk deals with suppliers of energy saving measures e.g loft insulation, condensing boilers, solar thermal heating.
Furzedown Community Network’s Low Carbon Zone
The FCN operates around the Tooting area with Low Carbon as one of its strands. This includes energy efficiency initiatives, such as visiting 1600 houses in Furzedown and Graveney as part of government’s RE:NEW project.
Highgate Society Sustainable Homes
The Highgate Society have arranged ‘21st Century Homes’ exhibitions of local low carbon installers, open local low energy homes, held ‘be warmer’ meetings demonstrating and even a thermal imaging night to show the difference in heat loss on a cold night between well insulated and ‘leaky’ homes.
Muswell Hill Sustainability Group
Muswell Hill have worked with Sustainable Homes to arrange their own 21st Century Homes exhibitions, working with Haringey council on ‘Retrofit Works’ to maintain a register of local ‘green’ tradespeople and holds draught busting workshops.
Part of Crystal Palace Transition Group, Palace Power held draught busting workshops and energy switching offers.
South East London Community Energy (SELCE)
SELCE offers a wide range of services to people with cold homes with high bills. For instance, they offer home visits and energy cafes offering advice on fuel debt, grants, energy reduction and switching to lower tariffs.