Residents who installed a solar power station on a Brixton housing estate are planning to expand their work.
Repowering South London, a community led cooperative organisation which is supported by Lambeth Council, raised money through a share offer to build solar paneling on Elmore House on the Loughborough Estate in Brixton earlier this year, creating clean energy for local residents. It was the first inner-city community owned solar power project in the country.
Following the success of Brixton Energy Solar 1, the group are launching Brixton Energy Solar 2 share offer to raise the funds to install more solar panels on the roofs of Styles Gardens on the Loughborough Estate.
It will be 100 per cent community owned giving local investors a share of the profits, with the remaining profit created being used to help reduce the carbon footprint of Brixton through a Community Energy Efficiency Fund.
Co-founder and project manager of Brixton Energy, Agamemnon Otero, said “This is a true community project that has been enabled through the donation of over 1000 hours time invested by a variety of local people who are committed to a clean energy future. It’s great to see the launch of Brixton Energy Solar 2 and the continued support and commitment from local people.
“We hope other community groups across the UK will be inspired to take action. We want to make Brixton Energy a shining example of inner city community resilience for the next 20 years.”
Cllr Lib Peck, Cabinet Member for Strategic Housing and Regeneration on Lambeth Council said:
“The project has huge benefits for the community, including the establishment of a Community Energy Efficiency Fund that will support energy-saving improvements in the local area, such as draught proofing and insulation. This is only the beginning of the story as Lambeth Council is committed to supporting Repowering South London in the co-production of further renewable energy co-operatives on our buildings and housing stock to increase energy security for residents.”
Funding for the project is being raised through a community share issue and those that invest will see a financial return of up to 3% through the UK government’s feed-in tariff scheme, with a further portion going to the Community Energy Efficiency Fund.
Through the scheme, investors will be able to buy a stake for a minimum of £250. Brixton Energy Solar 2 looks to raise £61,500 and hope to achieve the same or better results than the money raised for Brixton Energy Solar 1 which raised £57,800 in just over three weeks following investment from people living on Loughborough Estate and in the local Brixton area.
Following Repowering South London’s innovative financial model the project will provide for a Community Energy Efficiency Fund that will support energy-saving improvements such as draught proofing and insulation, education and re-skilling on clean energy and energy efficiency in the local area. Offering additional education around energy efficiency can lead to behaviour change and improved understanding of energy usage. This is particularly relevant at a time of rising fuel prices and increases in fuel poverty.
For the first time in the UK, Brixton Co-operative members will be able to invest if they wish with using the local Brixton Pound currency, and also receive their annual share payment in Brixton Pounds.
About Repowering South London
The Brixton Energy Co-op is part of Repowering South London who have a further six projects in the pipeline. Repowering South London is a community based organisation that is committed to using new approaches to socially responsible finance to deliver real change for the local community. Repowering South London’s values are aligned with those of the Transition Town movement – a community group with a practical approach to preparing for a low-carbon future. Repowering South London aims to
• Generate decentralised renewable / low carbon, energy resilience in South London
• Facilitate co-operative community investment
• Create financial revenue funds to service social aims of locally led co-operatives.
• Educate residents about energy efficiency
• Tackle fuel poverty and
• Provide training and employment for local people
Community-owned energy is a way for inner city estates to make the first steps towards reducing dependence on oil, protecting against rising fuel costs and instigating energy efficient behavior change.
For more information please contact:
Afsheen Kabir Rashid
Lambeth Community Energy Officer
0207 926 3473
Brixton Energy website: https://brixtonenergy.co.uk