Welcome to the CREW Energy newsletter, where we'll be bringing you a monthly round-up of our energy cafes, project updates, community energy news and upcoming events - delivered right to your inbox!
Introduction to a CREW energy cafe
Our energy cafes aim to help people get more value for their energy spend. They are run by volunteers trained in giving energy advice and the concept was part of CREW’s very raison d’être.
We meet at venues where there is a significant footfall and talk people through the process of choosing the best-value supplier for their circumstances. We use the Citizens Advice site to do so. This is seldom a simple process because everyone’s situation is different. The poorer you are the trickier it is to get the best deal.
It is helpful for people who are anxious about using computer searches to have a friendly companion when attempting to do this. Often complex telephone calls are involved too, so some support is always welcome.
If someone brings their energy bill, we can follow the online system and find a range of options. We are also alert to issues such as calculating length of contract and costs of changing suppliers. This is different from the help people get at the supermarket or on the street, where suppliers are touting for business and the necessary questions don’t always come to mind.
For those with debt problems, we can point them to helpful agencies. We are also aware of the various discounts available and can advise on simple energy-reducing actions to ensure people get the best value out of their electricity, gas and water charges.
All done over a coffee and sometimes even a piece of cake!
You may recall our blog post on winning GLA and UKPN funding to develop our latest LED and Building Management System (BMS) project with Devas Club. Here's an update!
CREW completed the installation at Devas Club throughout June, bringing immediate benefits to the Club and its users. CREW replaced 157 lights throughout the building, including new light fittings and sensors in key areas to minimise unnecessary lighting of spaces when not in use. Users of the club are already commenting on the improved lighting of the building, while the installation of the BMS will improve heating efficiency throughout the building when the weather starts to cool down.
“We are delighted that the GLA and UKPN's grant has enabled us to install LED lighting throughout the youth centre, not only to save running costs, but to help us fulfil our target of reducing our emissions by 5% per year over the next three years. The grant will also allow us to control our heating more effectively and we look forward to making savings this winter.” - Johnny Devas, Trustee
The two energy efficiency measures are forecast to save Devas Club £3,400 on their energy bills and 11.72 tonnes of CO2 per year; which will be tracked by CREW over the next two years.
CREW Energy and Devas are currently planning a range of educational activities to engage young people at the Club in sustainability and energy saving and will be running events over the summer.
Community Energy Fortnight and London Climate Action Week
Climate emergency declarations are sweeping the nation and we couldn't be happier that authorities are finally waking up and taking action!
Our neighbours, Merton Council, declared a climate emergency in July, setting a carbon neutral target for 2050, and committing to working towards decarbonising buildings and services by 2030. Wandsworth Labour soon followed suit, backing similar targets for the same milestone years.
The move is in line with advice given by the Government’s Committee on Climate Change and the Mayor of London’s ambitions. That said, while these declarations are a huge step in the right direction, we would do well to recognise that the UK Government still has a long way to go to make these targets a reality!