We’re a varied bunch; some of us are driven by the desire to mitigate dangerous climate change, others want to eradicate fuel poverty in London: The one thing we have common? We’re all trying to make a difference and improve our city!
Meet some of our member groups below – remember it’s currently free to join CEL and we will keep you updated with sector news, events, training and other opportunities.
Community Energy in London
|Community Energy London Member Groups||Location|
|Brixton Solar 1||Brixton|
|Brixton Solar 2||Brixton|
|Brixton Solar 3||Brixton|
|Brent Pure Energy||Brent|
|Bromley-by-Bow Centre (BBBC) Community Solar||Bromley-by-Bow|
|Highgate Society Sustainable Living||Highgate|
|Lambeth Community Solar||Lambeth|
|LEAP Micro AD||Kings Cross|
|Muswell Hill Sustainability Group||Muswell Hill|
|North Kensington Community Energy||Kensington|
|Portsoken Energy||City of London|
|Power Up North London||Camden & Islington|
|Schools Energy Co-op||London-wide|
|South East London Community Energy||Lewisham & Greenwich|
|South West London Environment Network||South-west London|
|Wolves Lane Centre||Haringey|
|Other Community Energy Groups and Projects in London||Location|
|Edward Woods Community Centre||Hammersmith & Fulham|
|Ham Hydro & Teddington||Teddington|
|Highbury Vale Blackstock Trust||Islington|
|Holly Lodge Estate||Camden|
|Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Envrionmental Sciences (IFEES)||London-wide|
|Masbro Centre||Hammersmith & Fulham|
|Newbery House Cooperative||Islington|
Bromley-by-Bow Centre (BBBC) Community Solar
Bromley-by-Bow Centre, in Tower Hamlets, has been awarded £11,950 towards a project to install solar panels on their community centre. They aim to install around 56 solar panels. The renewable system will be used to raise awareness of clean energy to their community and any profit form the FiT would go into a community fund that can be used to support existing fuel poverty advice services.
Brixton Energy was set up by Repowering London, who have successfully established four community energy projects on social housing, including Solar One on Elmore House (37.24kWp), Solar Two on Styles Gardens (45kWp), Solar Three on Roupell Park (52kWp) and Banister House Solar (102kWp) in collaboration with Hackney Energy.
Brent Pure Energy
Brent Pure Energy is a Community Benefit Society, registered and regulated by the Financial Conduct Association. They offer local community organisations a chance to cut down on their carbon emissions and their energy costs, and local people a chance to invest in solar energy, giving both a reasonable return on investment and a chance to help the community.
One of their projects is a 50 kWp solar array on Queens Park Community School, which went live in August 2016. This equates to 198 panels and is generating some 47,500 kWh of electricity per annum. More than 99% of this electricity is used by the school, resulting in a saving to the school of around £2500 a year!
Their latest projects include installing a 27 kWp solar PV array on Malorees Infant school and 24 kWp on Malorees Junior school. This equates to 101 and 90 panels respectively and will generate some 47,150 kWh of electricity per annum. Estimates suggest that this will supply between 25 and 33% of the school’s current annual consumption. This will result in an estimated saving to the school of over £2000 per year.
Brixton Solar 1
Brixton Energy Solar 1 is the UK’s first inner-city, co-operatively owned renewable energy project on a social housing estate. The project involved the installation of a 37.24kWp solar power station on the roof of Elmore House on Loughborough Estate in Brixton.
The capital cost for the solar photovoltaic (PV) installation was raised through a community share offer. Brixton Energy Solar 1 attracted 103 investors whom mostly live in Lambeth with nine from in and around the Loughborough Estate itself and raised £58,000 in less than a month.
Brixton Solar 3
Brixton Energy Solar 3 saw the installation of 52kWp of solar PV panels on the roofs of Roupell Park estate in Brixton. The panels went live in September 2014. Using the same community led approach, the solar panels for Brixton Energy Solar 3 were installed on four buildings within the Roupell Park Estate: Hyperion House, Fairview House, Warnham House and the Community Office.
Calthorpe Energy Lab
The Calthorpe Project in Camden has been awarded £9,775 to undertake wider community engagement and develop a financially viable solar project on their community centre located in Kings Cross. Funding from the Mayor will enable the Calthorpe Project to complete a feasibility study and design for solar panel installation and also draft a share offer.
CREW Energy work to accelerate London’s transition to a low-carbon and sustainable future through community led improvements to energy performance. We do this by tackling fuel poverty in vulnerable communities and working in partnership with a range of organisations to deliver energy transformation projects across London’s buildings. Through our fuel poverty and energy transformation work, we help Londoner’s reduce their carbon emissions and energy bills creating more resilient and environmentally aware communities.
Brixton Solar 2
Brixton Energy Solar 2 saw the installation of 45kW of solar electric (photovoltaic) panels on the roofs of Styles Gardens, five of the housing blocks in the Loughborough Estate, Brixton. The Estate is owned by Lambeth Council and managed by the Loughborough Estate Management Board (LEMB). They secured approval from Lambeth Council to install solar panels on the roofs following multiple consultation events with the residents of the estate in June and July 2012, and the install was completed in October 2013.
Some of the electricity generated from the solar panels is used by LEMB directly to power the communal spaces in Styles Gardens. The remainder of electricity generated by the project is exported to the National Grid.
The combined array saves approximately 16 tons of CO2 every year by displacing electricity generated by coal and gas power stations. Funds for the project were raised through a community share offer, with an expected average annual return on investment of 3% and up to 50% tax relief under the Government’s Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme.
In partnership with Ealing Council and the Schools’ Energy Co-operative, Ealing Transition have helped to provide solar panels for several local schools. Members invested through a crowdfunding scheme and will receive a small amount of interest yearly.
Ealing Transition are also involved with helping to make the local housing stock more energy efficient – energy saving renovations by their members are available online.
Edward Woods Community Centre
London Sustainable Exchange (LSx) has been awarded £6,130 to install solar panels on the Edward Woods Community Centre in Hammersmith & Fulham. The owners of the community centre hope the electricity savings and income from the Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) will be able to fund additional projects at the community centre, such as increasing the capacity of the Community Kitchen. They hope to install around 85 solar panels, which should generate just under 20,000 kWh per year.
Energy Garden is the world’s first citywide programme that combines community energy and gardening projects. The programme is creating an interconnected network of Energy Gardens, adding natural beauty to London’s Overground stations and raising awareness of renewable energy generation. The gardening spaces are powered by solar water pumps and solar lighting. There are also plans for interactive solar powered notice boards to stay up to date with community projects.
Solar assets owned by Energy Garden, plus solar installed by Energy Garden on stations and depots, produce a revenue which will support the gardens and well-being programmes which Energy Garden runs.
Energy4All was formed in 2002 to expand the number of renewable energy co-operatives in the UK as an integral part of our transition to a low carbon economy. They have grown to become a family of 27 independent renewable-energy co-operatives. Their Co-operatives have 16,978 individual members and have created 30MW of electricity capacity.
The Energy4All office is based in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria with development staff working throughout the UK. Any group or individual land owner interested in community renewable energy projects should contact them and speak to a member of their highly experienced team.
Teddington & Ham Hydro was a planned renewable scheme based on the installation of three hydro power turbines on the River Thames at Teddington Weir. The Teddington & Ham Hydro team believes that we, as a community, should be taking local action to make a contribution towards combating climate change and generating decentralised renewable energy. The flow over Teddington Weir allows for the possibility of generating clean, renewable energy.
The Highgate Society Sustainable Living
The Highgate Society Sustainable Living group aims to help people find the inspiration and information they need to make energy-aware choices. Formed early in 2011, the Highgate Society sustainable homes group has been researching the opportunities and potential pitfalls of energy efficient refurbishment (and new build) within the boroughs that constitute Highgate. The core team is made up of people with professional backgrounds in this or related fields: architecture and urban planning, sustainable energy, environmental advocacy, communications and conference organisation.
Most of the team have already taken steps to introduce significant energy efficiency and/or renewable energy measures in our own homes. They have created the 21st Century Homes concept, working with local groups, particularly the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group (MHSG) on events that showcase local and national products with the theme of character, comfort and low carbon. Recently HSSL have expanded their scope and have held popular events covering ethical investing, electric vehicles and waste.
Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Envrionmental Sciences (IFEES)
IFEES help people of faith to be more aware of the human impact on the environment. Through initiatives such as their Green Mosque Project, they encourage the building of eco-friendly features into mosques and promote taking measures to make buildings and congregations more eco-friendly.
Some mosques are initiating projects such as gardens, bee-keeping, farm visits, nature walks and tree-planting schemes. Some of these measures help keep down running costs, or even turn into enterprises that support themselves, while getting worshippers to work together and get to know one another better!
Mico anaerobic digestion
LEAP Micro AD is multi-disciplinary enterprise developing a circular bio-economy model that combines on-site food waste management using small-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) and composting, with local food production. AD is a renewable technology that turns waste food into a clean fuel (biogas), fertiliser and soil conditioner (digestate).
LEAP is designing the next generation micro AD systems to serve institutions, social housing, SMEs, small farmers etc. and building circular business models to match. We explore the model through various ‘living labs’ in London and hope to offer closed-loop, decentralised solutions to developing countries, enabling them to leapfrog expensive, unsustainable, centralised infrastructure and build community resilience in the process.
LEAP’s circular model:
- supports local economies through green training and employment opportunities;
- reduces food and waste miles, and landfill GHG emissions;
- recovers valuable nutrients and fibre for local food production and urban greening projects; and
- increases access to healthy, organic, nutrient-dense food.
Lambeth Community Solar
Lambeth Community Solar is a borough-wide initiative to install community owned solar panels on schools and community buildings across Lambeth.
LCS launched in 2019, when they raised £137,000 through their community share offer to install solar panels on the Elmgreen and Norwood schools. They installed 83 kWp of solar panels on the Norwood school in October 2019 and installed 62 kWp of solar panels on the Elmgreen school in February 2020.
LCS is currently working on the LCS Phase II project.
London Sustainable Exchange (LSx) has been awarded a second grant of £6,130 to install solar panels on the Masbro Centre in Hammersmith & Fulham. The electricity savings and income from the FiT will help fund additional projects at the community centre. They hope to install around 68 solar panels, which would generate about 15,000 kWh per year.
Portsoken Energy has been awarded £12,450 to develop a project aiming to install around 200 solar panels on the Middlesex Street Estate (City of London), which includes flats, a library and a community centre. The project will be supported by Repowering London and also funded through a community share offer.
Power Up North London
Power Up North London (PUNL) aims to generate locally owned renewable energy and use the profits to benefit the local community. In November 2015 they were awarded a grant from the Urban Community Energy Fund to cover feasibility costs for a North London solar project. This was used for feasibility studies and was followed by the successful installation of a 19kW solar installation on the south facing roof of a Grade II listed church in a conservation area in Highgate! Through the Mayor’s London Community Energy Fund, PUNL are now looking to support solar projects at a city farm, an arts agency and even a doctors’ surgery!
Muswell Hill Sustainability Group
Muswell Hill Sustainability Group (MHSG) is a volunteer organisation set up by local residents in 2008. Their aims are to reduce carbon emissions and waste in Muswell Hill and surrounding areas, and to encourage residents, local businesses and community groups to live more sustainably. Membership of the Group is open to all. They organise talks by expert speakers about climate and other environmental issues, and hold events, exhibitions and workshops on practical aspects of energy efficiency. Members have formed a thermal imaging group conducting house surveys for interested residents, and a wood fuel group on supply and correct use of wood for domestic heat.
MHSG conducted a ‘100 houses Study’ which followed 100 households in Muswell Hill over 2 years. This assisted participants with an initial carbon footprint assessment, agreed individual carbon reduction plans with them and provided assistance through regular surgeries with experts in household carbon reduction.
Newbery House Cooperative
Newbery House Cooperative has been awarded £9,740 to maximise benefits of solar panels which are about to be installed on this housing coop building in Islington. This project will look at the feasibility of supplementing the solar installation with electrical storage, on-site electric vehicle charging points, upgrading lighting to LED and guidance for residents on external wall insulation.
North Kensington Community Solar
Following the successful installation of 83 kWp of solar panels on Avondale Park Primary School, Thomas Jones Primary School and the Dalgarno Community Centre, North Kensington Community Energy are continuing work in the borough. Working with the Westway Trust they are planning to install 138 kWp of solar panels on the Westway Sports Centre in spring 2020.
Public Works has been awarded £8,686 towards the development of a small off-grid, hybrid renewable energy system – R-URBAN Poplar. The system could combine micro anaerobic digestion (AD), solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and wind technology. The micro-AD plant will generate power from waste collected (by bicycle) from 35 local households.
Repowering London specialises in co-producing community energy programmes with community groups and Local Authorities across London. They support communities to deliver, own and manage renewable energy projects that provide benefits to the citizens that surround them. So far, Repowering London has installed 470 kWp, saving a total 100 tonnes of CO2 every year. Projects include; Brixton Energy (Elmore House, Styles Gardens, Roupell Park), Hackney Energy (Bannister House), Energy Gardens, Lambeth Community Solar, North Kensington Community Energy and several more.
Schools Energy Co-operative
The Schools Energy Co-operative installs community funded solar panel systems on schools free of charge as well as paying all its profits to its member schools. A social enterprise, they are dedicated to supporting schools and providing an alternative to the prevailing commercial rent a roof or leasing model. Central to this is the aspiration to retain as much as possible of the benefits for the schools, their students and the surrounding communities. Schools Energy Co-op also provide educational support to our schools and works with the schools and local community groups to maximise the environmental, educational and community impact of the solar installations.
SE24 (Sustainable Energy 24) is a community energy group based in South London. We aim to encourage and develop locally-owned renewable energy projects on public or community buildings. Working with local partners and funded by both local investors and grant-funding bodies, SE24 have successfully installed nearly 230 kW of solar PV through the past four years. Our roof owning partners have been a large secondary school, three churches, and a hospice. The SE24 Community Fund receives a part of our generating income. This fund tackles fuel poverty and also supports local community initiatives – most recently helping support and maintain the Southwark Peace Garden at our partner site Walworth Methodist Church.
Solar SOAS is the first community energy project on a university in the UK. The project was carried out by the student and alumni-run community benefit society, UniSolar. The project saw 29.6KW – 114 solar panels – installed on the roof of the SOAS Old Building in September 2016. The panels are owned and run by the society, and generate an annual ‘Green Community Fund’ of £2,000 a year. Every year staff and students are invited to submit environmentally-friendly project ideas to use the fund to take local action on climate change. To date the fund has supported a cycling co-op, clothes swaps, the SOAS community garden, and workshops around making home made skincare products.
South East London Community Energy
South East London Community Energy (SELCE) is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Formed by residents of Greenwich and Lewisham, who want to play an active role in shaping the energy future of South East London. SELCE is taking action to combat climate change through generating renewable energy and tackling fuel poverty by providing advice and support for those struggling to pay their fuel bills and keep their homes warm in winter.
South West London Environment Network (SWLEN)
South West London Environment Network (SWLEN) is a charity dedicated to helping people and organisations protect and enhance the environment. They work in the London Boroughs of Richmond upon Thames, Kingston upon Thames and Hounslow. Their work focuses on preserving and protecting green spaces and biodiversity, promoting sustainability and community development and supporting environmental groups achieve their goals. They also offer free energy advice to schools and community buildings.
Sustainable Merton is a community led initiative giving local residents, groups, organisations and businesses the opportunity to stimulate practical action to make our area a sustainable community. They are engaged in projects covering renewable energy and energy saving, local food growing, water conservation and raising awareness of the issues associated with climate change. They are working in partnership with Merton Council and with schools, community groups and businesses across Merton.
Sustainable Merton also hosts sustainability advice sessions at the Living Green Centre, formally Morden Hall Park.