May was another action-packed month for our south-west London community and, indeed, the country. We have all marvelled at car-free roads and aeroplane-free skies. In turn, air quality has improved, and we've heard people commenting on how wonderful it is to live in a cleaner and quieter city. Many of us have become active gardeners with vegetable patches sprouting up even in the smallest of spaces. You can often see neighbours delivering produce to one another.
This pause has given us an insight into what a zero-carbon economy could be like to live and breathe in. The last thing we want to do is 'go back to normal'.
With that in mind, why not take this month's newsletter as your springboard to adopting new energy-saving behaviours, getting involved in our community-based climate action or simply finding out more about who CREW is and what we are doing?
COVID-19 energy hotline
Our COVID-19 energy hotline is in full swing, now with a direct phone number! We are the first community energy group to offer support in Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Italian and French to those struggling to pay their bills or apply for grants, discounts and debt relief. We also provide other tips on how to keep your energy bills down while you spend more time at home.
Call 0207 112 8102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
It's been a scorcher. So much so, you may be tempted to dive into the paddling pool and stay there for all of June… At the risk of raining on your parade, water is a precious resource that we should handle with care. Below are this month’s top tips to save you dosh while you wash!
Mind the tap
A dripping tap can waste more than 5,300 litres of water a year. That’s the same as 39 bathtubs of water! So, make sure your taps are properly turned off and fix taps as soon as they start to drip.
Turn it off!
A running tap wastes more than 6 litres of water every minute, so turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face.
Take up 'bowling'
Using a washing-up bowl to wash up plates or cutlery twice a day, rather than having the hot tap running, could save around £25 per year on your gas bill and about £30 per year on your water bill (if you have a water meter).
Thirsty for more?
Did you know the average person uses 143 litres of water per day in England and Wales? In case you missed Water Saving Week in May, why not read our #MakeDoCREW blog posts for tips and freebies to help you save that precious H2O.
We launched our Spanish energy café programme back in February and wanted to share our first success story! R arrived in London from the Dominic Republic 4 years ago. She is partially blind and unable to communicate in English. After 9 months of failed communications, a home visit from energy hero Katherin helped get her two broken radiators fixed in the space of a week.
The Mayor of London is investing a record £2.2 billion in streets across London to make them safer for walking and cycling, and improve the environment for everyone. Merton and Wandsworth councils are now preparing their own emergency transport response to aid social distancing across both boroughs and make longer-term changes to improve road safety and provide more space for walking and cycling, in turn improving our local air quality.
They are in need of specific suggestions of where to widen pavements, add cycle lanes, temporary zebra crossings, etc. in Merton and Wandsworth. If you have a suggestion, please email:
Solar panels have long been a hot topic and are a firm favourite among community energy groups looking to generate clean energy in city environments, where they are easy to mount on roofs.
PV has been hitting the headlines even more so recently thanks to the disappearance of aeroplane contrails during COVID-19 and a reduction in air pollution. Both of these factors allow much stronger sunlight to reach the ground, resulting in bumper production of solar power. Couple this with the reducing cost of solar panels, and the increasing amount of energy that a panel can generate and you're on to a winner.
Interested in getting some PV of your own, or just want to learn more?
Describe yourself (and CREW) in 3 words: innovative, inclusive, optimistic
What is your biggest CREW achievement?
We just won a £100,000 grant to develop community models for renewable heat (heat pumps and district heating). This funding and the innovation it will bring will be a game changer for CREW, hopefully for London and for community energy!
Who is your green inspiration?
All those students who went on strike from schools and who marched in towns and city centres to raise awareness of the climate emergency. It really took that movement to wake up governments around the world and shake them into action.
Coming up in June
Speaking of meeting the team... Did you know that CREW is a volunteer-led cooperative? We're dedicating Volunteers' Week2020 to our team of incredible energy advisors, eco-action games masters, sustainability buffs and community champions!
Follow our Volunteers' Week shenanigans on Twitter and answer the burning question: Who Are CREW?
This year, Community Energy Fortnight is going completely online for the very first time. Join us on social media from 13th-28th Junefor heaps of fun, including a Community Energy England Twitter takeover and exciting events as we plot how to #HarnessOurPower to build back better!