The PUNL Community Energy Fund Committee met for the first time in July.
Members are Katy Evans, Catherine Wells, Joanna Macrae, Ian Hunt, Ian Grant and Cathryn Symons.
Katy was appointed chair and Cathryn secretary.
It was decided that there would only be one round of grant-making this year, given that this is the first year of operation. Grants should be limited to Camden and Islington boroughs only. Applicants must be based in the boroughs, or the project must be of benefit to the boroughs.
Grants should be for a minimum of £500, up to the full budget. Grantees should be properly constituted bodies of some sort (for example, registered charity, school, TRA) with a bank account.
It was agreed that criteria should be broadly around community / carbon / leverage and education. The committee is working on the criteria and process for presentation at its September meeting.
Camden’s new Climate Action Plan has been adopted Camden Council’s cabinet.
The Plan commits the Council to tackle the climate emergency and includes a zero carbon by 2030 goal and taking forward all seventeen recommendations put forward by a dedicated citizens’ assembly.
Action on energy figures large. The plan says: “We will also need to increase the amount of energy produced from renewable sources to help the move to lower carbon electricity. While the potential for large scale renewable energy in Camden is limited, there is still significant potential for solar and air source systems for new and existing buildings. We need to ensure that new buildings meet the highest environmental standards, do not add to carbon emissions or air pollution and are built to last.”
Other action on energy includes:
*In 2020, switch the Council’s corporate estate and schools to green electricity, and look at further ways to reduce the emissions associated with our energy supplies through renewable energy.
*In 2020, complete a feasibility study to install a large-scale solar project on housing estates. Subject to feasibility, deliver the project in 2021 and extend thereafter.
*In 2020, deliver a low-cost solar panels programme for residents in Camden through Solar Together and explore other group-purchasing schemes to support building retrofit.
*In 2020-21, create a public database of all renewable energy installations in Camden.
*In 2021, review and extend the Camden Climate Fund to provide financial support for energy efficiency improvement and renewable energy and heat deployment with a focus on the fuel poor and community groups.
A quarter of Camden’s direct emissions come from heat and electricity supplies to housing. Approximately 60% result from non-domestic buildings such as offices, shops, universities and schools.
PUNL responds to Islington’s zero-carbon 2030 Vision
PUNL has responded to Islington Council’s consultation on how it intends to reach zero-carbon by 2030.
PUNL thinks there is a lot in the consultation paper that gives cause to cheer but a lot that is unsaid about how the council’s ambitious target will be achieved in 10 years’ time.
It contends that the ambitious goals in the paper can only be met if the aspirations are converted into a prioritised set of SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals with clear financial commitments for investment and targets for carbon saving.
The consultation paper rightly identifies the need for funding from government and the devolution of powers in order to achieve the goal of a zero-carbon borough by 2030.
PUNL believes that community energy must play a significant role to help ensure the transition to a low carbon economy and a smarter energy system given the complex and fundamental changes that energy users will experience.
The response commends the Council on its establishment of the Islington Community Energy Fund (ICEF), which has supported energy efficiency, carbon reduction and fuel poverty alleviation projects in the borough. It will be good to see ICEF funding for projects that align closely with the top priorities to achieve zero carbon 2030, including the switch from gas boilers to renewable heat systems.
The response explores further how PUNL can be involved in behaviour change along with funding and other initiatives.
Read the full response here (thanks to Tanuja Pandit for co-ordinating responses)
The consultation closes on 31 July and readers are encouraged to respond.
What can we do in our use of energy to promote a low carbon lifestyle? Find out on Wednesday 24 June, 7-8.30pm, at a Think & Do webinar.
How do we make our homes more energy efficient?
Hear from Power Up North London about renewable energy projects in the area – and how you can get involved? Camden Council is talking about energy in relation to meeting the net zero carbon target for 2030; and local architect Anna Woodeson is covering challenges to our industry, the trajectory to zero carbon, what a zero carbon world could look like and retrofitting our homes.
Join this Think & Do webinar to hear more about how anyone in our community can contribute to tackling the climate emergency to help Camden achieve net zero carbon by 2030. There will be plenty of time for questions.
How can we scale-up community energy action in our cities? – is an online event held by Community Energy London on 25 June between 6-8pm.
Some of the questions explored will be: what are some of the best UK or international examples? Do frameworks to create scale exist in the community sector? What are the barriers to scaling up projects in the urban environment and how could we overcome them?
Urban projects face a number of unique difficulties in relation to access to space, the built environment in which they are situated and often higher costs in relation to installation. But the popularity of community energy schemes is growing, helped by climate emergency declarations and net zero carbon commitments.
The installation was completed in February and the amount of electricity generated to date is 4.37Mw. Self-consumption amounted to 2.94Mwh (see left for panels).
The amount of CO2 saved to date is 1160kg and the equivalent of nearly six trees. Thanks to investors and supporters.
Hampstead School – latest results
Subsequent to meeting the investment target, the panels have been installed.
As of the first week of April, the panels had earned £182 and produced 4793kWh. Thanks again to investors and supporters.
Elizabeth House installed
A total of 1048kWh has been produced at Elizabeth House, with 753kWh self-consumed, and 295kWh exported.
PUNL project managed the installation of a 10.26kWp system at Elizabeth House Community Centre, in Islington at the end of November 2019.
Export has been higher than normal in recent weeks due to the lockdown. CO2 emissions saved amounted to 297kg.
Dixon Clark Court – work underway
Currently work is underway to determine how best to supply the solar electricity generated to the communal areas and residents using a microgrid.
Last August PUNL won an Islington Council grant to undertake a feasibility study for a solar PV and private wire (microgrid) system at Dixon Clark Court which is a 15 storey residential block owned by the Council.
The Council provided funding from its Community Energy Fund (ICEF) for the feasibility and also for the capital to procure the panels.
Solar PV can be installed at this site and PUNL must also put the appropriate legal arrangements in place between the Dixon Clark Court TMO and the Council/Residents.
Paradise Park – next stage
A feasibility study has concluded that a solar PV array can be installed and would be beneficial from an environmental, social and financial perspective at Paradise Park Childrens’ Centre.
Last August PUNL also won an ICEF grant to undertake a feasibility study for solar PV, and to look at energy efficiency measures at Paradise Park Childrens’ Centre, partnering with XCO2 who are a local consultancy practice with expertise in this area . XCO2 submitted a detailed report on measures to reduce energy use and improve thermal comfort at PPCC.
The next step is to apply for a follow-on ICEF grant to procure and install the solar panels and to implement some energy efficiency measures.
We were in the process of planning a series of events to get all of our investors together, but in light of the current Covid-19 crisis, this is on hold and we will update you in due course. In the meantime stay safe.
Originally it wanted to hold a series of workshops, but due to the Covid-19 crisis, it is consulting online, and will provide more information when the crisis is lessened.
Islington Council says it is aiming for a fairer place for everyone by reducing inequalities which are made worse by climate change and states that although it has a leading role, it must work closely with residents, businesses and community groups.
GLA pushes for Neighbourhood Planning support for renewables
In a report, the Greater London Assembly has urged the mayor to reintroduce policy and text that explicitly sets out how Neighbourhood Planning can support local priorities and renewable energy schemes and the Mayor’s Good Growth objectives.
Budget and renewables
Although the government allocated £100 million funding to replace fossil fuel heating in homes and small, non-domestic buildings and an extension to the Renewable Heat Incentive post-2021, albeit for 12 months, community energy groups were disappointed there wasn’t a reinstatement of Social Investment Tax Relief.
Also missing – a reverse in the increase from 5-20% for Energy Saving Measures.
Separately, community energy organisations have been given a six month extension to complete and register feed-in tariff projects.
The PUNL share offer for Hampstead School has now sold out. This follows completion of the Muswell Hill Golf Club share offer. We would like to send our thanks to everyone that invested and promoted the share offers.
The team is now working on commissioning the installations over the coming weeks and we will share further details on timelines shortly.
Investors can expect to receive further information on their shareholding in early February and we will also share plans on celebration events in due course.
The PUNL share offer for Muswell Hill Golf Club has sold out. The offer for Hampstead School is nearly three quarters sold.
PUNL has to raise £46,000 by 31 January to deliver the school installation by the end of March and local people can invest anything between £250 and £4,500 in a green, ethical investment, with a projected 2% return.
Don’t miss out and follow through on New Year green resolution(s) and take an active stake in the ownership and management of locally produced renewable energy by investing now.
It is a ‘winners all round’ project, as the school gets cheaper, greener energy; investors see a return on their ethical investment and the project will save 230 tonnes of carbon over the first 20 years.
Camden Council sees this as an important project in terms of turning their climate emergency declaration into action and partner with different organisations. Hampstead School has not only stressed this project will save them money on energy bills but also educate pupils on the environment and renewables. For PUNL, it will help lead the way to more solar school projects – and any surplus generated will go towards other local community energy projects.
PUNL today launched its third and fourth share offers, for Hampstead School and Muswell Hill Golf Club. Overall, PUNL is looking to raise £83,000 to install 77kWp of solar panels, more than doubling our current solar generating capacity. It is estimated that the two projects will enable the avoidance of over 350 tonnes of carbon emissions and the sites will receive a discount on the clean energy sold to them by PUNL.
You can invest between £250 and £4,600 (for Hampstead) and £3,700 (for MHGC). Investors will receive 2% annual interest over the 20 year life of the investment. Invest early to avoid disappointment – our last share offer closed within two weeks, and if we do not raise the funds by the deadlines (18th Jan for MHGC, 31st Jan for Hampstead), the projects will not go ahead.
This is a great opportunity to do your bit to fight the climate emergency at the end of a year that has seen unprecented progress in public interest and awareness as well as political engagement. We thank our partners at the GLA, Camden Council and MHGC for helping us to get to this stage.
Power Up North London is a community business that delivers renewable energy and energy saving projects. To date, we have completed two solar installs at St Anne’s Church in Highgate, and Caversham Group Practice in Kentish Town. We have also delivered a range of other projects in relation to LED lighting, energy saving advice, and private wire.
Contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions, would like to find out more, or are interested in a project.
100 tonnes of carbon savings over the next three years
We are aiming to raise c. £80,000 of core funding over the next two years, to help achieve this as quickly and effectively as possible.
Why donate? The funds will allow us to pay for feasibility studies, and also to invest in staff to help develop new projects.
The upfront investment would enable us to unlock a further £300,000 in investments and – more importantly – reach our carbon reduction target.
What next? Please donate any amount to help us achieve our goals and contribute to combating climate change.
Do e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Call for volunteers with engineering, marketing and social media skills
The declaration of a climate emergency means that our work is gaining growing attention and support which is great, but we are looking for more volunteers to help us.
Power Up North London is also launching two major new share offers soon and will need your help.
We are particularly keen to hear from engineers with experience of project management – particularly the renewables sector. Also, anyone with marking experience would be welcome to the fold and social media skills would be a bonus.
Please contact PUNL: email@example.com if you can help.
Solar for schools
Wouldn’t it be great if most schools in Camden and Islington were able to generate solar energy?
Not only would schools benefit from cheaper, cleaner electricity, but the installations and accompanying display panels they would also provide a ‘teaching moment’ for pupils, parents and the wider community. Science lessons could centre on the physics of panels; geography on the contribution of the energy transition to reversing climate breakdown; maths on the costs and benefits of scaling home grown energy and politics and economics of government subsidies for fossil fuels versus clean energy!!!
We are in advanced discussions with Camden Council to make this idea a reality on at least two schools in the borough. This would be our largest project to date – installing up to a total of !50 Kw generating capacity. We estimate that at least 80% of the electricity will be used by the schools, with the remainder exported to the grid.
The project will make good financial sense for PUNL and for shareholders. By bundling the scheme into one agreement, we are able to keep our legal costs down, and because these are larger installations and the schools themselves are large users we are able to realise some economies of scale.
It will be our largest share offer yet – we will need to raise between £70,000-£100,000. So we will need your help getting the word out there! The share offer should be launched in December, so what about buying friends and family members a really novel, climate friendly present – shares in community energy?
To find out more: email Power Up North London and we will get in touch when the offer goes live.
Caversham Practice update
PUNL completed the installation of the 30kWp PV solar array at The Caversham Group Practice mid-March 2019 We are delighted that the site has already generated an estimated 20,730 kWh in it’s first six months, displacing 7.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide and saving the practice £312 in electricity costs. It has been great to work together with The Caversham Group practice on this positive initiative.
For project updates, please use the dropdown menus under Projects.
Following one of the recommendations from the Citizens Assembly: “to mobilise community”, Transition Kentish Town along with other community groups are working with Camden Council to co-design a pop up community space which is opening next week in Kentish Town.
Based in the old Flapjacks cafe, Think&Do will be a community space for Climate and Eco Action. Open for 6 weeks every Thursday-Saturday, midday to 8pm from the beginning of November, it is a space for the community to come together to co-create ideas to address the Climate and Ecological Emergency in Camden.
Power Up North London is giving a talk on renewable energy from 6pm-8pm on 8 November.
Think&Do will be hosting “Imagination workshops, energy forums, ideas for greening up, share and repair, transport and pollution campaigning, fashion up-cycling, film-screening, a school wall, mapping workshops, and Saturday surplus suppers cooked with Vegbox”:
There will even be an energy bike to power a string of solar lights! Come and burn up some calories.
PUNL is pleased to have completed the installation of the 30kWp PV solar array at The Caversham Group Practice mid-March 2019.
The site has been registered for the Feed-in Tariff and the panels are generating solar electricity and performing well with 1337kWh of solar electricity had been generated in just under three weeks.
During April, PUNL will install an electronic display in the reception area of the Practice which will show the CO2 savings, the solar energy generated in both real time and in total.
Meter reading on 7 April
PUNL has an annual operation and maintenance contract for the panels and this will mean their performance will be regularly monitored to check they are working at the correct level.
Standing – Ben Pearce, Dr Alex Warner and Dr Jane Myat
On 3 April, PUNL organised a small investor celebration at the Practice to thank funders and investors for their support. The event was well attended and Ben Pearce (PUNL’s Chair) took the opportunity to thank investors and funders.
PUNL could not have done this project without the support of the GLA who funded the feasibility work and Sylvia Baron was thanked. Thanks also went to Claire Hanratty and her team at Pure Leapfrog and Simmons & Simmons for providing a grant to support the cost of the solar panels. Dr Alex Warner, Dr Jane Myat and Sheetal Shah from the Caversham Practice were thanked for their support and determination to see this project through along with shareholders for their investment in the panels without which the project could not have been delivered.
Green Party co-leader Sian Berry with PUNL chair Ben Pearce
Shareholders should note that share certificates will be sent out to new investors this week.
Power Up North London are looking to raise £28,000 through a Community Share Offer to install 30kW of solar PV at Caversham Group Practice, Camden. Invest now here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/punl-cgp
In 2018 we conducted three PV solar feasibility studies in Camden funded by the Greater London Authority, and one in Islington, funded by the Islington Community Energy Fund. We are now moving forward with the installation of a 30kWp solar PV array at the Caversham Group Practice.
“Power Up North London (PUNL) is a fantastic, independent grass roots organisation in Camden, which is pioneering a new model for combatting climate change by empowering local residents to play a part in reducing carbon emissions and developing strong community resilience.” Sir Keir Starmer QC, MP for Holborn & St Pancras
“I am happy to support this valuable initiative in our communit.”Jenny Headlam-Wells, Labour Councillor for Kentish Town Ward & Mayor of Camden 2018-19
The Caversham Group Practice PV Solar Project
Caversham Group Practice is an established NHS teaching and training practice in the London borough of Camden with 15,000 registered patients. PUNL has been working with them over the past 15 months, from initial conversations to establish interest and suitability of the site, to a successful application for feasibility funding from the GLA, completing the feasibility with a green light to proceed and putting the legal documentation in place for a lease between Caversham and PUNL.
We are now moving to the installation phase and must raise the capital to purchase the solar panels. We need £28k for the solar panels, electronic display and fundraising costs. We have a commitment for £5k grant funding from Simmons & Simmons if we are able to raise the rest of the funds from community shares. The project aim is to install 30kWp of PV solar panels on the south and west facing roofs of the Practice. The panels are estimated to generate c.25MWh of electricity annually, and to meet about half of the projected daytime electricity consumption, while displacing 8 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. Invest here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/punl-cgp
What are the benefits of the project?
The panels will generate an estimated 25MWh of clean energy a year, which equates to a reduction in carbon emissions of around 8 tonnes/year.
The Practice will benefit from discounted energy, through a power purchase agreement with Power Up North London.
Staff, patients and other members of the local community will benefit from a small return on their investment, while being given the opportunity to invest for social and environmental benefit Any surplus income will be put into PUNL’s Community Energy Fund, which will be available for further projects in the local area
The panels will be a community asset that can be used for educational purposes and to encourage others to explore renewable energy
Where will the income come from?
The £28,000 Community Share Offer will fund the installation of the panels. Power Up North London will receive income from three sources:
We have a Feed- in -Tariff (FiT) rate secured for 20 years, which is a payment from the government for each unit of energy generated
Selling electricity to the Caversham Group Practice at a discounted price
Selling any remaining energy back to the grid.
Buying shares in PUNL means you will automatically become a member of the Community Benefit Society. Your investment plus a small amount of interest will be repaid in annual instalments from 2020. The average annual interest rate is estimated to be 2% for the length of this project. Members are entitled to receive the Society’s annual accounts, vote at the Society’s Annual General Meetings, and stand for election to the Board of Directors. Members will democratically decide on future projects and how PUNL’s Community Energy Fund is to be administered. We hope you will view investment as an opportunity to support a project with environmental and social benefit; the rate of return is modest in keeping with our rules as a Community Benefit Society. Invest here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/punl-cgp
Shares are in Power Up North London, a registered Community Benefit Society.
The Shares are Ordinary shares of £1 each. For each member, the minimum investment is £250 (1) and the maximum is £3,000. Each member will have one vote irrespective of the amount invested. The shares are in PUNL as a whole, and not the Caversham Group Practice installation specifically. This means interest rates may be affected by future share offers, however all future projects will be subject to the approval of members and will only be recommended for approval if they maintain or increase upon the current projected interest rate. Invest here:https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/punl-cgp
(1) Staff and patients of the Caversham Group Practice may invest a minimum of £100 each.