Welcome to the CREW Energy newsletter, your monthly round-up of community energy news and upcoming events - delivered right to your inbox!
Reflections on a CREW energy cafe
Last month, we gave a behind-the-scenes intro to our energy cafes. But what does it mean to our volunteers? Here’s a first-hand account from CREW Energy Adviser, Maureen.
Sometimes I am truly humbled by the financial resilience I meet during energy cafe exchanges.
When one is unemployed for a period and managing on Universal Credit before recovering from injury and returning to work, one needs the most amazing skills to prioritise which bill to pay, which friend to tap for a loan, which life-enhancing activity to forego in order to survive, just about.
When in work, it is possible to pay the rent and council tax (a most regressive tax for tenants) with a minimum of juggling and a bit of being behind. Enter a period of unemployment and the debt mounts; paying back even £23 a week(!) of the arrears leaves so little money for the other necessities.
The most efficient and cheapest options are not available to people on very low income. Our energy cafes are a sign of solidarity with our fellows who are not as lucky and a reminder that a run of bad luck, unemployment, injury or illness can easily tip one into financial stress.
Our energy cafes offer advice on energy efficiency in the home, as well as the benefits and discounts available to more vulnerable households.
There’s been a lot of talk of electric vehicles (EVs) lately - and for good reason! Electric vehicles have become an important part of both the fight against air pollution and the move to a low-carbon economy, which is essential for reducing the effects of climate change.
Currently, the number of EVs is 2.7% of the UK’s total market, but we need to do more tomeet ambitious 2050 climate change targets. So, do you know your EVs from your PHEVs?
September is another big month for community energy, with the Global Climate Strikestarting on 20th September.
CREW member,Dr. Sheila Ochugboju, will also be attending the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on 23rd September, where the aim is 'to boost ambition and accelerate actions to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change'. Stay tuned for her updates!
Poll: Tax relief for community energy
According to a new ICM poll of 2,027 adults carried out on behalf of Community Energy England, around 69% of the UK public think the government should once again offer tax relief to people who invest in community energy projects.
According to Emma Bridge, CEO of Community Energy England: 'We’re in a climate crisis; it would make ethical and economic sense to support those citizens helping to reach the zero-carbon targets. We call for an immediate reinstatement of Social Investment Tax Relief for those investing in community energy.'
Our next CREW energy cafe will be at Wimbledon Library, Saturday 7th September from 10am to 2pm. Come along with your latest energy bill for advice and cake!
Tooting Foodival - 14th Sept.
Tooting Foodival is an annual sustainable food festival (now in its 12th year) that celebrates all things locally grown, home cooked or locally produced. We'll be hosting another CREW energy cafe stall there on Saturday 14th Septemberfrom 11am to 5pm.
That's all for this month! But if you're interested in more CREW news, follow us via the social media icons below or...