Community Energy Winter Support • Completed January 2023
The CEWS initiative was driven by Sydney Charles, Director of Community Energy London with the principal purpose of supporting residents at risk of fuel poverty in the winter of 2022/23 given the high energy costs and the cost-of-living crisis in the UK.
Funding & delivery
Funding was provided through a Crowdfunder appeal to residents who could afford it to contribute some of the £400 support the government was providing to all households towards their energy bills. The appeal raised £3000 and in addition, the Fuellers provided CEL with £500 in funding. CEL distributed these funds equally to four community energy groups of whom Power Up North London was one. PUNL split its £750 in funding equally between two local organisations, Caxton House Community Centre in N19 and Think and Do in NW5, that are both working with local residents to install small energy saving measures in their homes.
The funding pot was modest and the decision on which measures to procure was left to the local groups. Caxton House asked for LED light bulbs and draught proofing strips for doors while Think & Do requested LED light bulbs and hot water bottles. PUNL procured these items and distributed them to local residents through CHCC and T&D staff and volunteers.
Benefits & impact
CHCC reported that, “These energy saving measures have supported 157 residents across 7 of our projects. The residents and families live locally in postcodes N4, N7 and N19 and those whom we supported with these measures are retired, medically retired or on a low income or benefits”. Benefits to residents included reduced emissions compared to using standard bulbs and saving residents money on their energy bills. The draught excluders helped to prevent draughts and kept warm air inside the room thus contributing not only to energy and cost savings but also to improved health and wellbeing.
T&D distributed LEDs to 85 households at the rate of 2 per household and hot water bottles to 25 households. Households were based in Levita House and Walker House in Somers Town and those with large young families, residents with disabilities and elderly residents were prioritised. Residents benefited from reduced emissions and cost savings and the hot water bottles, which were very popular, helped tide people over through the winter when heating costs were beyond reach.