Tag Archives: Hackney

Campaigners plan protest against Hackney Council’s ‘dirty energy’ investments

16 September 2016: The Hackney Gazette reports that “Demonstrators will protest outside the Town Hall on Monday night [19 September], calling on Hackney Council to move £42m of its pension fund invested in ‘dirty energy’ into greener investments. Last March a Freedom of Information request revealed investments of £42,438,296 in 22 different oil, coal and gas companies.”

Further information on Hackney Council’s investments in fossil fuel companies is posted on Hackney Energy’s website and the Divest Hackney website has posted all the FoI responses received by the group from the council.

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RE:NEW retrofit case studies

August 2016: The GLA’s home energy efficiency retrofit programme, RE:NEW, has posted a series of case studies on their website. These include a range of projects including:

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“Sales of electric cars soar 85% amid fear over pollution”

8 April 2016: The Evening Standard reports that “Hundreds more Londoners are buying electric cars as the scale of the capital’s air pollution problem is laid bare, official figures reveal today. They show a jump of more than 22 per cent in electric cars, including hybrids, registered in the city in the first three months of the year, nearly 800, compared with 650 in the first quarter of 2015. In the South-East, the rise was a huge 84.9 per cent, from 1,632 to 3,019.” EV sales data is available on the SMMT’s website – but not on a regional basis.

“The number of electric cars registered in London has jumped from 61 in the whole of 2010 to a total now over 5,000. More charging points are being installed under the Source London scheme.” Read the full story here.

Proposals to make London “the electric vehicle capital of Europe” were set out last summer by the Mayor in TfL’s Ultra Low Emission Vehicle Delivery Plan – which contains details on work to support the growth of EVs and EV charging infrastructure.

London was recently awarded £13 million to create ‘Neighbourhoods of the future’ prioritising ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) in several boroughs across the capital:

  • Proposals include over a dozen streets in Hackney going electric with charging infrastructure such as car-charging street lighting, while Harrow will develop a low emission zone offering parking and traffic priority to owners of plug-in vehicles
  • Westminster Council already provides free parking for ULEVs and London’s proposal aims to deliver 70,000 ULEVs sold by 2020 and almost quarter of a million by 2025

To help private plug-in vehicle owners offset some of the upfront cost of the purchase and installation of a dedicated domestic recharging unit, the Government is running the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. New guidance on this scheme was issued by Government last week.

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Carbon Neutral Arcola

22 October 2015: “The Arcola Theatre in Dalston is a step closer to becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral theatre after it won funding for a new heating system”. Full story on Arcola’s plans to use a “biomass boiler, which generates heat from waste and scrap wood that would otherwise go to landfill”, following their recent funding award from Marks & Spencer’s Community Energy Fund, in the Hackney Citizen.

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North London Heat and Power Project

December 2014: North London Waste Authority (NLWA) has launched its first phase of public consultation on the North London Heat and Power Project – a £450-500 million Energy Recovery Facility at the Edmonton EcoPark in the London Borough of Enfield. All details are set out on their new website: www.northlondonheatandpower.london.

The development proposal consists of:

  • an energy from waste plant – described here as an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF)-  generating 70MW of electricity using residual waste
  • “heat off-take” equipment within the ERF which will generate an initial heat supply through a connection to a separate heat network centre that will be located on the site.
  • This separate heat network centre is not part of the Project and will be developed by the London Borough of Enfield. The separate heat network will be designed to be capable of providing heat in the region of 30 MW which will provide benefit to north and east London;

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) arranges the disposal of waste collected by the seven London boroughs of Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest. The existing Energy from Waste plant at the EcoPark that has served north London for around 45 years and is coming to the end of its operational life.

A video on the current energy system in place can be seen here; a second video on new proposals can be seen here.

Plans for the heat offtake extend to connecting to the wider Lee Valley Heat Network – details for which were announced earlier this year and to which government funding was announced in October. The first phase of the Lee Valley Heat Network will focus on the £1.5 billion Meridian Water development.

The following three tenders for the Heat Network have been issued by Enfield in the past few weeks:

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North London ‘Smart Homes’ retrofit scheme launches

November 2014: A news report highlighting a new ‘Smart Homes’ retrofit Project which provides “homeowners in six North London boroughs access to upgrades that can help to significantly boost the sustainability of their properties…The year-long scheme will be the first of its kind in the UK, and aims to make it simpler and more affordable for residents to install insulation that will help to reduce their energy costs.

Haringey Council’s website reveals that the project is one that was successfully awarded funding earlier this year under government’s Green Deal Communities Fund, details of which can be found in an earlier post here.  The project focuses on solid wall insulation and on Victorian and Edwardian terraces where simple, cheap energy upgrades can be difficult because of the design of the older buildings. Residents in Haringey, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest are eligible for the scheme, which is designed see more than three quarters of work carried out by local traders. The scheme is open to both owner occupiers and landlords (or tenants with landlord consent) from the boroughs and is available up to 31st March 2015.

Further information can be found on the Smart Homes pages on Camden’s website – and on Camden’s Green Deal page here.

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Slam Climate Change

June 2014: An interesting report in Independent that:

“…scientists are being told to use art and poetry to win public support in the battle to curb climate change. Dame Julia Slingo, the chief scientist at the Met Office, has called for a radical overhaul of the way climate scientists go about their business, arguing that they need to make their reports less turgid and more engaging.
“We have to look increasingly at what society requires of us… We increasingly recognise that to reach the general public we have to use all sorts of different channels of communication,” Dame Julia told a recent gathering of leading climate change scientists at the University of Exeter.
“And it’s not through tables and graphs. Sometimes it is through art, through music, through poetry, and storytelling and that is increasingly something we have to think about – how we communicate in a more humanist way.”

With this in mind, its interesting to see that an event took place over the weekend in Hackney, as part of a programme called The Spark, entitled ‘Using hip-hop and music to empower communities and tackle Climate Change’, and earlier this year the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change held a novel poetry slam ‘Rhyme & Reason: Reflections on Climate Change‘ evening (poster below), performances from which can be seen here – and additional details of the night here.

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Energy efficiency programme for London’s ‘Cultural & Heritage’ sector

June 2014: The Mayor’s non-domestic energy efficiency programme, RE:FIT, recently held an event focused on improving the energy performance London’s Cultural & Heritage buildings. Presentations were provided by RE:FIT participants the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Millfield Theatre, who undertook their RE:FIT project through the London Borough of Enfield. Details of the event can be read here – and an article on green improvements made at the Lyric Hammersmith theatre, who plan to work with the RE:FIT programme shortly, can be see here.

Seperately, the always innovative Arcola Theatre was profiled as a case study in the government’s recent solar energy strategy for their work on using solar PV together with energy storage technology (see page 48 of the strategy document here).

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PV storage trialled in Hackney

5 April 2014: The latest Feed in Tariff (FITs) statistics continues to show London’s abysmal progress on installing photovoltaic projects (see story here) – but at least today’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Solar Strategy (PII) highlights that there is some innovative stuff going on with PV in the capital. Not surprisingly the ground-breaking Arcola Theatre is involved (the theatre company with a fuel cell business at the side…) – see case study from strategy copied below.

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Could you warm to a district heating scheme?

March 2014: As part of work Which? are helpfully taking forward on consumer protection rights issues for people connected to district heat networks, Which? held an online discussion on consumer attitudes to district heating. Though the thread started some time ago in 2013, contributions from unhappy customers signed to a number of new networks in London are still raising their issues as of only a few days ago.  Schemes in Dalston, the Olympic Village, and an unnamed SE London scheme are referenced (some of which are copied below). It should be said that one commenter does also mention “The Pimlico district heating scheme has been running for many years without any consumer issues.

“Hi. I have just recently moved into a 2 bed new build in Dalston, East London a year ago. I have now received my first E-On bill for our heating and it comes in at a whopping £579 / 3600kWh (and this is just for 10 months). Whilst I normally welcome any energy saving initiative, I am left ultimately baffled why…”

“I have been living in a building in SE London with such a scheme for nearly two years now. Our heat bill is never below £45 per month, even in summer when it’s only used for showers for 2 people. In the summer months half of our monthly heating bill is made up of the service charge!”

“I live in an apartment block in London which operates such a scheme. Whilst this is my main residence I only occupy the apartment four nights per week. My average bill is circa £36 per month. Only £5 of this is the actual usage, the remainder being standing charge and VAT.”

“Me and my partner moved into a 1-bed apartment in the Olympic Village, London at the end of November and we have just challenged the DH supplier (East London Energy) about the costs. Many residents were shocked, as we were, to receive high bills. We were only told at the last minute that the DH scheme would be how our heating/hot water would be supplied, and while I’m all up for it in principle, I feel that the companies supplying it are ripping us off. We’re paying about £40 per month and we’ve had the heating set at 10 degrees a lot of the time.”

“My prices via EON in SE London:
standing charge: 85.871p/day (31 days=£26.61)
usage: 7.29p/kWh
VAT @ 5%
My spend with EON (district heating only, electricity is on top of that through a different supplier) in 2012/13: £814.84 for a 2 bed flat.”

“Here at Olympic Village we are trying to get through to the Olympic Development Authority and East London Energy who have set their costs too high to be sustainable for the consumer. At the moment, still waiting for something meaningful from them to show they’re taking our concerns seriously enough.”

Which? are now following up their 2013 work  – see ‘District heat users – are you happy with your service?

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Hackney Energy hit the ground running!

January 2014: This week saw some positive news stories concerning a new London community energy group – Hackney Energy. The group launched a new twitter account @HackneyEnergy and website and – more importantly – announced that they had established a new community solar project. It’s modest at 3.84kW – but it helps power a public toilet and cafe in Clapton. Read a blog on the great story behind this project.

And on Friday the Hackney Gazette and Inside Housing covered plans by Hackney Energy to work with Repowering London on a community PV project, similar in scope to the Brixton Energy scheme. The Gazette reports that:

“Youth internships and apprenticeships will also be created by the scheme, which plans to will increase awareness about energy efficiency, provide a financial return to investors, and reduce Hackney’s carbon footprint.

“Repower London’s chief executive officer, Agamemnon Otero said: “It’s not just about putting some solar panels up on the roof, but it’s about creating a platform for those who are most disaffected, those who are out of work, so there’s something they can be part of, so they can donate their time and energy and see their community changing.” Also see Hackney Council news release.

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Barking & Dagenham most energy efficient local authority in UK

November 2013: A news release from Imperial College highlights a recent study examining the energy consumption of all 198 urban local authorities in the UK, including 33 boroughs in London.  Dr James Keirstead has developed a “new method that draws on three different measures of energy efficiency, currently used by city planners, to create the ranking. The aim was to find the fairest methodology for determining energy efficiency that could give planners an improved way of spotting best practice, leading to more energy efficient and sustainable policies in the future.”

“The London boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Hackney topped the league table of all UK urban areas analysed in the study…This may be because both are low income areas, equating to lower energy usage. Residents of those areas are also more reliant on public transport and these boroughs lack energy-intensive manufacturing and commerce, which may also be other factors that explain why consumption is lower.”

The news report is a very short summary of a detailed research paper published by Dr Keirstead in technical journal Energy Policy (which unfortunately has a price tag associated with downloading the paper). The table from the paper providing a ranking of UK local authorities by average energy efficiency score is reproduced below:

Other London boroughs within the top 10 are Hackney, Merton, Redbridge and Kingston. Oddly, the top two ranked London councils are both within inner London, however, the remaining three in the 10 are all suburban local authorities.

Local authorities in England have now reported to Government on energy efficiency activities in their area in HECA update reports – for more of which, see here.

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