We're offering free training to help you, and your community, save money and bring down your energy costs.
Our latest project, Community Energy Champions, is looking to train volunteers who'll then assist their friends and neighbours in saving money on their energy costs.
The FREE course is over six workshops, each three and a half hours long, scheduled for when is convenient for you.
Run by South East London Community Energy, it'll cover topics including:
If you are interested, or just want to find out more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Friday our community energy project at the Doddington and Rollo Community Association (DRCA) was officially launched by Marsha de Cordova the MP for Battersea.
The event was hosted by Leonie Cooper, London Assembly Member for Wandsworth and Merton (and member of CREW) and we welcomed guest speaker Alex Hartley from South East London Community Energy (SELCE).
The project replaced all the existing lighting at the DRCA with highly efficient LED bulbs that are controlled by motion sensors. Most of rooms in the DRCA receive no natural light hence the lights need to be on at all times of day. This leads to very high electricity bills. Our project is saving the DRCA £1000 per month.
CREW worked with Pure Leapfrog to raise the capital for the project, taking out a 0% interest loan, which will be paid back over 10-years using a portion of the money saved each month by DRCA.
This is the first example of a community energy project in London using an energy services agreement, and will hopefully be a model that can be replicated across the whole of London.
A portion of the money saved by the project will go into a community fund to be spent on social and environmental initiatives in Doddington & Rollo and the surrounding area
This year we will use this money to fund a series of workshops on the Doddington & Rollo estate focused on tackling fuel poverty. These workshops will train volunteers on how to help local people understand the simple changes they can make to reduce their energy bills, for example, switching to different energy tariffs and reducing unnecessary energy usage.
This “train the trainer” model of working with local volunteers to provide energy advice to their fellow residents shares the knowledge with the community creating a long term solution for helping with fuel poverty.
This is our first project, and we’re incredibly proud of it. This is the first step towards completing our vision of bring community energy to Wandsworth.
To celebrate the completion of our first community energy project at the Doddington and Rollo Community Association (DRCA) CREW are hosting a press event to officially launch the project on Friday 22nd September.
CREW has partnered with DRCA to help reduce utility bills at the Community Centre by installing energy efficient lighting and in turn raise funds for workshops to tackle fuel poverty for the local residents.
DRCA Community Centre has very little natural light but needs to provide lighting 24/7, resulting in very high utility bills. Replacing their existing fluorescent light bulbs with highly efficient LED bulbs controlled by motion sensors will save DRCA over £1000 per month on electricity.
The event will be opened by Leonie Cooper London Assembly Member for Wandsworth and Merton with guest speaker Marsha de Cordova, MP for Battersea.
Friday 22nd September
DRCA Business Centre, Charlotte Despard Avenue, Battersea, London, SW11 5JE
If you would like to attend please register at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/crew-drca-community-energy-project-launch-tickets-37704027762?utm_term=eventurl_text
About the Project
The DRCA provides facilities for local business, charities and community groups. The Community Centre has very little natural light and requires the lights to be on 24/7, resulting in very high electricity bills. The aim of the project was to replace the existing inefficient fluorescent light bulbs with highly efficient LED bulbs, that are controlled by motion sensors. This will save DRCA over £1000 per month. A portion of the money saved will be donated to a community fund that will pay for workshops aimed at tackling fuel poverty for low income families in the local area.
CREW worked with Pure Leapfrog to raise the capital for the project. CREW took out a loan from the British Airways Carbon Fund, which will be paid back over the 10-year lifetime of the project using portion of the money saved each month by DRCA.
The project would not have been possible without the help of Social Power Partnerships who performed all aspects of the installation, and Simmons and Simmons solicitors who provided pro-bono legal advice on the contracts.
Residents are coming together to buy solar panels in bulk, making savings on the equipment and installation costs. Community Renewable Energy Wandsworth (CREW), a volunteer group of local residents, has launched a campaign, called CREW Solar, to offer discounted roof-top solar panels in Wandsworth and Merton.
CREW has teamed up with Social Power Partnerships (SPP), a leading UK renewable energy developer, to offer roof-top solar panels to the community at a reduced rate.
By pooling together a number of residents in the same area, CREW has driven down both the equipment and installation costs. By joining this collective purchasing scheme, residents can save as much as 50% on the solar panels installations.
A typical solar power system on a house can earn the homeowner £300 in Government subsidies and energy bill savings each year. The panels would pay for themselves in as little as 8 years. CREW will receive £100 from SPP for every installed system for its community fund. This money will be used to help schools and charities in the area. Residents have until July 20th to join the scheme.
For more information, or to register your interest, go to our CREW Solar page or email CREW directly on email@example.com.
Justin and Maureen collaborating in the sunshine
We are excited that the installation of efficient lighting bulbs in the Doddington & Rollo Business and Community Centre is developing well. We expect to install the new bulbs during the summer and hope to have this done by (environment fortnight) and begin to show savings in energy use and costs immediately. This is a positive move forward for the business and community centre.
The latest development to celebrate in this project is the possibility that we can fundraise with D&R to refit the public areas of the whole building with efficiency sensors cutting power use even further and making more savings in the bills.
We take the opportunity to work the sunshine whenever we can. Otherwise we have to work without natural light underground in the business centre. Transforming sunlight into electricity for the centre would be ideal but in the meantime we are enjoying the real thing.
Since January 2016 when dramatic cuts to renewable energy subsidies, knows as FiTs (Feed-in Tariff), were enacted the UK solar industry has been hard hit. Multiple solar installation companies have gone into administration as demand has reduced. The tariff cut has meant that the high up-front costs of installing solar are no longer easily off-set by selling electricity back into the grid over the life of the panels.
The Guardian has covered the decimation of the industry in this recent article.
What this means for CREW and other community energy groups like us, is that solar projects have become far less financially viable, especially in a city like London, where land availability and air pollution already reduced the generative capacity of solar panels compared to rural projects.
CREW is no longer able to offer solar projects in the same guise, as the guaranteed opportunity to earn back enough money from the panels to pay interest back to banks, community shareholders is no longer assured.
Luckily this doesn’t stop us from doing solar projects. However, we are adapting our business models and financing approaches to ensure we can launch financially viable and environmentally effective projects, ensuring that all community shareholders are paid a fair rate of return on investment.
This week Tim, Toby and James met with the team at Battersea Arts Centre to discuss partnership opportunities to further improve the environmental performance of one of the borough’s most iconic buildings.
Battersea Arts Centre puts on over 650 performances a year across a range of performing arts, and is a key Battersea community hub inspiring more than 5000 young people a year to explore their creative side.
Originally built in 1893 as Battersea Town Hall, the BAC team have just completed the first phase of a major refurbishment installing multiple energy efficiency measures such as cavity-wall insulation and LED lights. We are now discussing how CREW can help supply the technical expertise and funding capability to match BAC’s ambition to be a shining example of environmentally friendly practice in Wandsworth.
Watch this space for more updates as discussions progress.
CREW discovered this week that we just missed the cut for shortlisting for the M&S Community Fund. Begun in 2015, Marks and Spencer run a national competition offering grants to community energy projects across 20+ regions of the UK. Customers and members of the public vote for their favourite shortlisted regional projects who receive grants of up to £12,500 towards community energy initiatives.
The opportunity to use a big grant to good use encouraged CREW to reach out to new community partners to collaborate for the competition. This has kicked off initial discussions with Putney Arts Theatre to identify what energy generation and efficiency measures could help transform their building’s environmental performance.
Unfortunately, the M&S Community Energy Fund required match funding before any project could be shortlisted. No doubt, CREW will return next year to apply. In the meantime, we are very excited to be exploring opportunities for collaboration with Putney Arts Theatre. Watch this space for updates in the coming months.
In the meantime, take a look at some of the fantastic competition winners from the M&S Community Energy Fund in 2015.
CREW and Doddington & Rolo Community Association (DRCA) are working together on an exciting energy efficiency project. The DRCA are a community venue and small business workshop host in Battersea. We have agreed to fund and help install 570 LED light bulbs across the community centre and its network of small business workshops. The superior energy efficiency of LED bulbs over traditional light bulbs will help DRCA save more than 70% on their annual lighting energy bills!
At the moment CREW are in the process of applying for funding to start the project and developing a legal agreement that will ensure the continued success of the project (and carbon emission savings) over the next 5 years.
We hope to share more with you later in the summer.
We are delighted to announce that CREW member and long-time advocate Leonie Cooper has been elected to the London Assembly!
Leonie will represent Merton and Wandsworth at the Greater London Assembly, winning her seat by over 4,000 votes. Among other responsibilities, Leonie will champion environmental issues in the Assembly as Chair of the Environmental Committee.
We want to congratulate Leonie on a momentous win, and wish her luck with the next 4 years representing SW London on behalf of all its residents.