WHITTINGTON PARK COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
Whittington Park Community Association is a busy community centre in North Islington. They run a daily over 60s lunch club, an early years centre, an after school club and holiday play scheme and a community cafe. They have over 40,000 visits each year and improvements to the centre benefit all users of its services.
Ann Mason, the WPCA Director, approached Power Up North London for support with a grant application to the Islington Community Energy Fund. WPCA was seeking funding to replace their existing lights with LEDs to reduce electricity consumption and environmental impact. Tanuja Pandit from PUNL visited WPCA to review the site, undertook the analysis of LED costs and savings and prepared the ICEF grant application. WPCA were awarded the full £5,200 of funding they had requested.
This project replaced all existing lighting in WPCA’s Yerbury Road building with energy saving LED lighting delivering an annual energy saving of 6379 kWh and annual carbon dioxide saving of 3.5 tonnes. WPCA should save at least £720 a year on electricity bills. As LED lights can last for years before they need replacing, WPCA will also benefit from a saving in the time and resources required to replace failed lights, many of which are very hard to access.
CAXTON HOUSE COMMUNITY CENTRE
Caxton House is a community centre based in St John’s Way close to Archway in the borough of Islington. Its objectives are to tackle poverty, to support children and vulnerable older people through accessible informal learning events and to develop and deliver a portfolio of innovative, highly responsive and community-led projects and in order to help the local neighbourhood take ownership of improving community cohesion, and wellbeing.
PUNL approached Caxton House about the opportunity to apply for the Islington Community Energy Fund in two areas, LED lighting and fuel efficiency advice to the community. Tanuja Pandit from PUNL worked on the application with Sue Collins and Paul Furze at Caxton House. CH was awarded the full grant of £8,900 and have since replaced their remaining 82 fluorescent lights with more energy efficient LEDs. PUNL also partnered with Thinking Works to organise two well-attended workshops on achieving energy savings in the home.
The energy saving from replacing the T5 fluorescent lights with LEDs is projected at 5,397kWh per year and the related annual carbon dioxide saving as 3 tonnes. In the first quarter since the installation of the LED lights in March 2018 Caxton House is registering a 30% reduction in its energy consumption. This will be monitored and reported on in the coming months.
The energy efficiency workshops were very well received as the snapshot of feedback shows. They could become a regular feature at Caxton House potentially using the savings generated from the switch to LED lights.
Quotes from attendees
“Well presented at a level that was easy to understand”
“Very helpful in ways to make savings”
“I learnt a lot and will do things differently from now”
Elthorne Pride has been set up to service the 10 year Big Local grant aimed at residents of the neighbourhood. Steve Scotland from Elthorne Pride approached PUNL for support with preparing a grant application under the Islington Community Energy Fund so that he could initiate environmentally focused projects for the neighbourhood. We decided to start by focusing on energy efficiency workshops and investigating the feasibility of PV solar in the common hallways and staircases of the neighbourhood.
Elthorne Pride received £2,500 of ICEF grant funding to be matched by their Big Local funding. The funds will be used to run energy efficiency workshops and to do the initial investigations into the feasibility of PV solar for the Elthorne Pride neighbourhood.
PUNL partnered with Thinking Works to run the workshops. The first involved an Energy Stall on 3 June as part of the Big International Lunch. The second event was held on 10th June when a group of Elthorne Pride residents went on an outing to Tiptree Farm in Essex. Thinking Works held an interactive workshop with the residents on energy savings including, how to read their electricity bill, how to take advantage of lower tariffs by switching and ways to reduce energy use in their homes.
Work on the PV feasibility is still in its early stages and we will post updates as it moves along.
At the Big lunch, PUNL partnered with Thinking Works to provide advice on reducing energy bills, alerting people to support schemes like Shine and addressing specific energy related issues they may have.
A number of people stopped by for advice and were ably supported by Giles from Thinking Works as well as treated to delicious homemade chocolate cake and cookies. They were also given complimentary low energy light bulbs to take away and try in their homes.
Case study from Big Lunch
Anne (not real name) was feeling very low. EDF had given her a bill for £3000 stating they hadn’t had a meter reading for three years when she had let EDF badged meter readers in four times over this period. The cause of the high bills was that Anne lives above a garage in a flat that has a flat roof. Neither the flat nor the roof are insulated so heat disappears far too quickly making the home very expensive to keep warm. Her son suffers from a severe type of asthma and so they need to keep the home warm to keep him in good health.
We explained that Charis administer a grant on behalf of energy suppliers that has a discretionary grant pot of over £11 million to help people in financial hardship. We also gave Anne details of the Islington SHINE service and explained they could help support an application to the council to have insulation installed in her home on health grounds. This would make a strong case for Charis to wipe the debt as the home should be cheaper to run in future. Anne thanked us when she left saying “I’m really, really glad I can over to your stall – thank you so much”.
ELIZABETH HOUSE COMMUNITY CENTRE
Elizabeth House is a thriving community centre in the heart of Highbury providing a number of services and activities:
- Affordable after school childcare services for children age 4 to 13 to support working families
- A Youth Club for local young people age 11+
- Health and well-being activities for women and families
- Affordable space for local community groups, service providers and members of the community to engage on relevant issues.
Nathalie Renaud, the EH Director, approached Tanuja Pandit at Power Up North London for support with making a grant application under the Islington Community Energy Fund.
PUNL worked jointly with EH on a grant that would deliver:
A feasibility study to install PV solar panels on the roof of EH to generate clean energy for the Centre and to reduce its energy bills
- A needs assessment for running an Energy Café at EH, where Islington residents could come to receive advice on their energy use and support to fight fuel poverty
- A feasibility study to look at other energy saving options throughout the Centre (e.g. battery storage, LED lighting and heating) to lower its impact on the environment, to reduce running costs and to invest the savings in enhancing community services.
EH was successful in receiving the full grant of £1,750 with PUNL project managing the feasibility study. The PV feasibility is progressing well and thus far PUNL has commissioned and delivered on the EPC for the building and the structural survey of the roof where the panels will be installed. We have also obtained quotes from solar installers for PV solar and battery storage, prepared a detailed lighting audit to establish the costs and savings from switching to LED lights and obtained a quote for the installation.
The next step is for EH to apply for capital grants to fund the LED lights and possibly also the PV solar panels. Another route for funding the solar panels is to do a community share offer. Further updates will be provided on the progress of this project in the coming months.
CAVERSHAM GROUP PRACTICE
Caversham Group Practice is an established teaching and training practice in the London borough of Camden with 15,000 registered patients. They have a full complement of attached staff and they run a number of outreach specialist clinics that enable them to provide convenient and rapid access to specialist NHS services.
The project aim is to install 29.1kWp of PV solar panels on the south and west facing roofs of the Practice. The panels are estimated to generate c26,944 kWh of electricity annually, and to meet between 60 % and 70% of the projected daytime electricity consumption, while displacing 9.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.
PUNL approached CGP about this project through a mutual contact in the Kentish Town Transition Group. We applied to the GLA for a grant to undertake the feasibility study and were awarded £12,940 in February 2018.
Since securing the GLA grant PUNL has been project managing this study and thus far we have established that the building has a suitable EPC rating to attract the feed-in-tariff and a roof that can comfortably bear the load of the proposed PV solar panels. PUNL is now working with CGP on the legal arrangements underlying the roof lease.
We have also participated in two community engagement events to reach out to local residents and to create awareness of the project. We are targeting a community share offer in the autumn to fund the PV solar panel costs and are also investigating the feasibility of battery storage which if viable will be funded through the same route.
CGP has a very engaged patient participation group, whose purpose is to foster effective communication between the practice and its patients. They also run regular community events to support good nutrition, health and wellbeing. This initiative will be a positive step in building further community cohesion through a shared interest in the environmental benefits of renewable energy and also the opportunity for patients to invest in a local community share offer. This project will also deliver annual financial savings in electricity costs for CGP.
We will provide further updates on the progress of this project in the coming months.
KENTISH TOWN CITY FARM
View of the stables
Kentish Town City Farm is a community charity that helps city people connect with animals, nature & the environment. Situated on a 4 acre site by the railway lines in north Kentish Town attracts over 29,000 visitors by providing an extensive educational programme to schools, therapeutic riding for people with special needs and farm related activities to local children and families.
Securing a grant from the London Community Energy Fund PUNL, in conjunction with the then farm CEO, Gus Alston, PUNL has developed a project to install an 11.34 kWp PV array on the stables by the entrance with an expected annual output greater than 10 MWh.
Planning permission has been obtained, the District Network Operator (UKPN) has approved the connection, the structural integrity and required strengthening of the barns costed. An innovative display has been designed to advise to visitors the performance of the system and the amount of carbon offset. Currently on site electricity consumption is low (there are plans to develop the site further) and KTCF are currently seeking grants to progress the installation with PUNL technical support.