PUNL given funds for lighting project and three solar feasibility studies in Islington



Caxton House where PUNL will put in LEDs

Power Up North London has been given funds from Islington’s Community Energy Fund for a replacement lighting project and feasibility studies for solar panels and battery storage at three other community buildings in Islington.

It follows PUNL being awarded London Community Energy Fund grants for feasibility studies for three buildings in Camden.

The buildings/blocks are:  Caxton House where LED lights will replace existing lighting, Elizabeth House, Elthorne Pride and Whittington Park Community Association which will undergo tests for solar panel potential, including storing the renewable energy in batteries onsite.

The fund is provided by the borough’s carbon offset fund – money paid by developers to offset the emissions they generate while building.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “I’m really impressed with the enthusiasm and imagination I’ve seen in the applications for the first round of funding

“I’m already looking forward to seeing these projects come to fruition, and hearing about other schemes and bright ideas for generating power at a local level, cutting energy bills and reducing the borough’s carbon footprint.

“The Community Energy Fund is a great grass-roots initiative that can literally put power in the hands of residents, community groups and charitable organisations.”

PUNL awarded £34,000 to investigate solar panels for three Camden buildings



Image: Caversham Group Practice

Power Up North London (PUNL) has been awarded £34,140 by the GLA’s London Community Energy Fund for feasibility studies for putting solar panels on three buildings in Camden.

The mayor awarded a total of £150,000 to 13 solar energy projects across eight London boroughs.

PUNL was awarded £12,940 to investigate putting solar panels on the roof of the Caversham Group Practice (CGP), an established teaching and training practice in Camden with 15,000 registered patients. The community energy group estimates the panels (29kWp) will save 20-25% on the practice’s electricity bills. It is also looking at the use of battery storage.

At Kentish Town City Farm, a community charity that helps city people connect with animals, nature and the environment, the study (£9700) will be focused on whether a stable block can support solar panels (11kWp). The block is in a highly visible position enabling the promotion of renewable energy technologies to visitors.

And at the LUX Centre, an international arts agency in Waterlow Park, PUNL has been awarded £11,500 to investigate the feasibility of installing 34kWp of solar panels. It will also look at the possibility of installing battery storage that could enable charging electric vehicles overnight to help tackle pollution and clean up the air in the park. This project should result in financial savings for LUX that will be reinvested in community events and other energy efficiency initiatives.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London has a wealth of buildings that can harness solar energy, but we’re simply not making enough of them. Generating clean, local electricity can help cut bills, and bulk buying will make solar panels more affordable. I’m also working with Transport for London to expand the use of solar power and energy efficiency across their buildings. I’m delighted to see so much interest in community energy, which is just one part of my plan to make London a zero-carbon city by 2050.”

Ben Pearce one of the PUNL directors and secretary said: “Power Up North London is delighted that our three applications to the London Community Energy Fund were approved by the GLA. We are now looking forward to working with the three sites to explore the feasibility of solar PV installations and will also assess the potential for battery storage.

“The three sites, Caversham Group Practice, LUX (based in the Waterlow Park Centre) and Kentish Town City Farm are all community sites that deliver positive social impact for their users. They are all committed to combatting climate change and supporting those in need within our community.

“We also look forward to engaging with local residents, as we run community engagement events over the coming weeks and months. This is an opportunity to continue to shape community energy in North London and enable more local clean energy generation.”



PUNL February Newsletter 2018

PUNL waits on London Community Energy grants

At time of writing, Power Up North London has submitted bids to undertake feasibility studies on several buildings in the area and awaiting decisions.

The London Community Energy Fund 2017/18 offers grants of up to £15,000 to support the development stages of community solar projects (including storage technologies), so that projects are investor ready.

PUNL is looking at solar projects at the Caversham Health Centre, where some Transition Kentish Town projects are already underway, the LUX Centre at Waterlow Park, and Kentish Town City Farm.

PUNL partners with Islington Council Community Energy Fund

The Community Energy Fund grants targets small organisations with charitable aims based and working in the borough of Islington. Applications are welcomed and actively encourage not only from energy and environmental group, but also from community groups looking to carry out an energy related project.

The Islington Community Energy Fund is open to all constituted groups with charitable aims within Islington who would like to carry out an energy related project. The grant programme will prioritise those working in partnership with groups that are most likely to be affected by Fuel Poverty.

PUNL has inspected several buildings in Islington and working out solar potential prior to application.
Camden Climate Fund closes in under a month

The Camden Climate Fund (CCF) provides grants of up to 50% of costs to install renewable energy systems and make energy efficiency improvements to homes, businesses and community spaces. This includes solar photovoltaic panels (to provide electricity), solar thermal systems (to provide hot water), boiler replacement and insulation.

The CCF is financed by Camden’s carbon offset payments, which are collected through the planning system when developments in Camden fall short of the Mayor of London’s carbon targets.

The CCF provides grants of up to £7,500 to support households and landlords install a range of renewable and energy efficiency measures to help reduce bills, improve energy efficiency and cut associated carbon emissions. You can apply for one or both grants for your property.

The current deadline for applications is 28 February.

Pure Leapfrog developing monitoring and evaluation tool

Pure Leapfrog is working on a monitoring and evaluation tool which aims to accurately monitor benefits of community energy projects to the community.

Last year, Pure Leapfrog, in conjunction with SELCE, CEE and BSC produced a report and last month PL held a workshop with community groups including PUNL to develop a tool where representatives from 25 community energy organisations looked at financial, social and environmental parameters.

The main gap that exists in M&E tools currently is capturing the social impact of projects and; any M&E tool developed needs to be easy to use, limited to key metrics, collect quantitative and qualitative information, and be standardised across the movement.

Outcomes for monitoring and evaluation include, avoidance of CO2 emissions,
community cohesion, creation of a community fund, financial benefits and return value for local community and protecting and increasing biodiversity.

PUNL reps speak at Energy Cafe event

PUNL directors Ben Pearce and Ian Grant, along with Joju’s Jon Cowdrill and en10ergy’s Sydney Charles spoke at an Energy Cafe event at the Vine, earlier this month, organised by Transition Highgate.

Subjects ranged from the Paris Agreement, to what technologies can be applied in the home and what renters can do to save energy and money.

Following a showing of the energy chapter of the film, Demain, and subsequent talks, the audience divided into four groups and discussed issues and actions which could be undertaken to improve energy efficiency and increase the uptake of clean energy. A summary of the discussions is being produced.

St. Anne’s project saves 9.2t CO2 in first year

At St Anne’s, in our first year (01-Oct-16 to 30-Sep-17) since installing the panels, the total generated was 16.97 MWh saving 9.2t of CO2.
Including the generation from October to date, the panels have produced 19,001 kWh.

PUNL AGM is on 18 June at the Lux Centre

The PUNL AGM is scheduled for 18 June at the LUX Centre, Waterlow Park, Dartmouth Park Hill, Highgate, N19 5JF, followed by social drinks.

The 2017 AGM was held in January; the reason for the change to June is that PUNL’s financial year ends in December and time is needed to prepare the accounts for the AGM. Therefore the AGM will always be held in June going forward.

Full details including the agenda,  venue and timings will be shared in due course; please let us know if you have any questions in the meantime: powerupnorthlondon@gmail.com

Volunteers welcome for PUNL and energy projects

PUNL welcomes support for forthcoming energy projects.

General administration and social media skills particularly welcome. If you are interested please email: powerupnorthlondon@gmail.com


Announcement of AGM

Our first AGM will be held on Monday 23 January 2017 at Holly Lodge Community Centre,30 Makepeace Ave, Highgate, London N6 6HL.

All welcome, and we will be heading to The Star pub on Chester Road afterwards for a drink.


  1. Welcome/Apologies
  2. Report from the Chair
  3. Vote on the Resolutions contained in the Notice of AGM
    1. Appointment of Chair (Incumbent- Nikki Brain)
    2. Appointment of Secretary (Incumbent- Ben Pearce)
    3. Appointment of Treasurer (Incumbent- Adam Spence)
    4. Appointment of other Directors (Incumbent- Ian Grant)
  4. Any other business
  5. Adjournment

Appointment of Directors

The positions of Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Director are open to all to stand for. In the event of there being multiple candidates, appointment will be put to a majority vote.Role descriptions are as follows:


  • Chairs monthly meetings of Power Up North London Core Goup
  • Oversees the day- to- day running of the organisation working closely with other Directors
  • Acts as a first point of contact for many external queries and represents the organisation at events and meetings
  • Undertakes project work as needed
  • Acts as a spokesperson promoting PUNL’s work and core values


  • Responsible for bookkeeping, invoicing and making payments for PUNL
  • Leads on development of financial model and uses financial expertise to guide decision making on financial issues
  • Leads on the financial aspects of issuing share offers and keeping up with legal and financial requirements of the organization
  • Responsible for producing and submitting accounts on time


  • Booking venues for Core Group, Board and General meetings
  • Distributing agendas and minutes for Core Group, Board and General meetings
  • Ensuring Treasurer submits accounts on time and all other legal requirements are satisfied


  • All Directors have legal responsibility for Power Up North London
  • From April 2017 onwards Directors will meet quarterly to discuss strategic issues relating to the organisation and to assess the work of the Core Group


The Core Group

The Core Group is the lifeblood of PUNL and actively volunteer time in a range of areas from project management to communications to community engagement. Our Core Group is the reason we were able to deliver our first successful project in 2016. Whatever your strengths, we need help to take on new projects and scale up in the coming year. All that is needed is an enthusiasm for community energy!

However we would be especially grateful to hear from people with experience or an interest in:

  • Marketing & Communications / Social media
  • Community outreach and advice
  • Fundraising
  • Property law
  • Project management
  • Renewable energy


Please contact powerupnorthlondon@gmail.com with any questions and we hope to see you on the 23rd January.

Volunteer with PUNL and join the clean energy revolution – the sustainable New Year’s resolution

PUNL Director Ben Pearce shares his view on why you should get involved with your local community energy project in 2017


You’ve joined the gym, given up booze, and exclusively eaten fruit and nuts for four days straight, but mysteriously, you don’t feel any happier. Deep down, you know that in two weeks you’ll be in the pub, on your third pint, scoffing some chips. But what if we told you that you could find purpose, could change the world, from within the four walls of a PUB!? How, you say? Community Energy, that’s how!

In the year that everyone is intent on convincing you that it was terrible to be alive, some good stuff actually did happen! For example, PUNL worked with the amazing people at St Anne’s Church and Joju Solar to install 19 kW of solar panels. This was all possible because 60 wonderful people in our community stumped up £30k to pay for the panels, which they will receive back over the next 20 years, with a bit of interest.

However, it is fair to say that this project couldn’t have happened without the core group of PUNL itself. We don’t do it for the praise by any stretch, but the whole group has an immense sense of pride and satisfaction at the way in which we were able to bring together so many people to create something beautiful and sustainable. It’s fair to say nothing beats the feeling of seeing a permanent beacon of hope in your community that you can feel happened as a result of your actions. It really does give you a sense of empowerment when (young) people are increasingly struggling to find purpose in life.

Our core group of 10 or so local residents, working in various different types of jobs. We have been meeting once a month to drive renewable energy projects forward in our community. The motives that we share are:

  • We want to combat climate change
  • We want to do this through positive action and believe in the power of social enterprise to do this; we have a shared ‘can do’ attitude.

It’s been an incredible journey so far for us – there have been multiple times at which it looked as if the one project we have to show for our work wouldn’t go ahead, but we’ve powered through together, with the help of others in our community and I think that resilience is something that we have taken into other walks of life. The other things we’ve done that most of us had never done before:

  • Registered a company
  • Won a £20k grant
  • Raised £30k of community shares
  • Received a round of applause from Ed Miliband
  • Spoken about solar at events alongside founders of well established charities in esteemed venues
  • Won planning permission
  • Formed relationships with local Councillors
  • Starred in a video with a proper camera
  • Been to City Hall

Not to mention developed some wonderful friendships. None of us knew that much about renewable energy before we started, and the way we developed technical and financial knowledge along the way and are now able to share that with others, has been a big personal confidence boost and a great demonstration of what an effective team can do.

There’s so much potential for community energy – our share offer closed 10 days before it was scheduled to and there is support from across our community. In 2017, we have already booked in a number of exciting meetings with some potential new projects, but with our big ambitions to scale up community energy in North London, we could really do with some extra hands on deck in our core group to help us do more. Whatever your strengths, we need help to take on new projects and scale up in the coming year. All that is needed is an enthusiasm for community energy! However we would be especially grateful to hear from people with experience or an interest in:

  • Marketing & Communications / Social media
  • Community outreach and advice
  • Fundraising
  • Property law
  • Project management
  • Renewable energy

As we hope you can see above – it’s a hugely fulfilling and stimulating thing to be a part of and we do hope you would consider coming along to just one meeting to see what you think. If any of these areas (or others) interest you, please do get in touch via email or come to our next meeting in January (we’ll publish the details on the website).

And perhaps you’ll be able to look back at 2017 with pride and happiness – a resolution that will really make you feel better about yourself!

What Next for Power Up North London?

Thank you to everyone came along to our event on Saturday 26 October to explore What’s Next for Power Up North London?

Below are the presentations used on the day and the notes from the workshop groups.
If you would like to find out more about the organisations who spoke at the event, you can visit them online
For a link to 10:10’s report, “Community energy: The way forward” click here
IPPR also produced a report in June on “Community and local energy: Challenges and opportunities” available here 
What happens next?
We’re really keen to take forward some of the projects spoken about at the event, including new sites for solar, LED lighting and running an energy cafe to focus on energy saving and tackling fuel poverty. However to do all these things, we will need new volunteers to get involved in our work. It doesn’t matter if you have no previous experience, there are a whole host of things to get involved in. This could be anything from online research, to holding a street stall, to designing leaflets, to getting involved with local campaigning.
If you would like to join our core group, which meets monthly, please reply to this email and we’ll send details of the next meeting.
If you would like to volunteer time for a specific project or activity, please let us know and we’ll follow up with more details.
Finally, if you have ideas for PUNL that weren’t spoken about on the day, or were unable to attend, please do get in touch with your ideas and suggestions any time!