Repowering’s reasons to be cheerful for 2021

Whilst 2020 didn’t exactly go to anyone’s plans, we’re proud of what we achieved with your support last year.

Having started 2021 while continuing to deal with the challenges of Covid-19, we decided to think ahead and share some of the exciting community focused projects we’re looking forward to delivering in 2021. Below are the some of the projects we plan to deliver across the year, from the different teams here at Repowering:

The Community Support Services Team (Ali, Charlotte, Fran, Gordon)

This year, Repowering is running an new project with and for mum’s in Lambeth. Since the start of the pandemic, our Community Support Services team has focused on residents who don’t have enough electricity and gas to meet their basic needs. Low incomes, higher bills over winter, and difficulties getting out to top-up meters due to Covid, are some of the many factors contributing to energy insecurity.

We will pay a group of 10 Lambeth mum’s the London Living Wage to take part in co-production activities that will help  tailor our energy advice services to their needs. We are working with local organisations, particularly those within the Lambeth Early Action Partnership, to signpost and refer mum’s that need support to us. We know that the demand for help is much greater than we can currently provide ourselves, so we will also be training staff and volunteers of these organisations to help where they can.

The Rooftop Solar Team (Afsheen, Dave, Eva, Manon)

2021 for Repowering’s rooftop solar team is an opportunity to learn how to do more. It starts with us going back to our roots and installing a solar array on a housing estate on behalf of Aldgate Solar Power.

But with your support, we want to turbo charge our efforts and create a larger impact moving forwards. We are working with Councils and other property owners to install at least 500kWp of community owned solar panels by the end of the year, and we hope to install 1MW of solar across London the year after.

To do this we will need your help. If you work for or know an organisation who support our aims of bringing the benefits of renewable energy generation to local communities, please get in touch.

The Innovation Team (Ali, Felix, Gordon)

Using our new battery at Elmore House!

At the end of last year we installed one of these at Elmore House, home to the BES1 solar cooperative. The installation was made possible by EDF Energy R and D, who we have been working in partnership with on the CommUNITY project. Initially the battery will be used to help maximise the amount of solar electricity that participating residents can use (hello solar powered Netflix bingeing!), but the next step is to use it to help balance the local electricity network. We will be working with UK Power Networks to pilot how local communities can benefit from supporting the move to a more flexible and lower carbon power system, and are very proud that Elmore House will once again be part of building a positive energy future

Going live at Energy Local Roupell Park!

Despite the challenges of 2020, the incredibly enthusiastic participants of Energy Local Roupell Park will shortly have the opportunity to start switching their electricity supplies to locally brewed solar power. At Roupell Park, Repowering are working with Energy Local, Bioregional and Octopus Energy to trial a new model for electricity supply with communities at its centre. Similar to a buyers club, through the Energy Local model residents are able to come together and appoint a shared energy supplier, as well as to decide what local renewable generators should be paid for the green electricity they produce. We are really excited to see how people react to the experience of buying electricity from community owned solar panels they can see out their window, with the added benefit of having a say in the pricing of tariffs.

Getting into energy efficiency retrofit for homes and community buildings!

It is incredibly frustrating to see how poorly insulated and ventilated so many homes and community buildings are. Apart from the money that is trickling out of drafty doors and windows, there are the very real health impacts of living or working in a cold or damp building, particularly during Lockdown. The solutions are well understood and available- but require skilled installers, long term funding and support for residents as they transition to new ways of doing things. It is a notoriously difficult business model, but we feel that there is a real need for a locally based approach that can tie in local training and employment opportunities as well as benefit from the knowledge of local support networks. So this year, our ambition is to trial a new retrofit service for both domestic and non-domestic buildings, building on our experience as well as that of other community energy practitioners, such as BHESCO in Brighton and Carbon Co-op in Manchester. We want everyone to have the chance to know how great it feels to be in a cosy, well-insulated home, with the peace of mind of low energy bills forever. If you would like to be involved or have any ideas to share, please get in touch!    

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