SE24 announce plans for a major community energy share offer in 2024

SE24 announce plans for a major community energy share offer in 2024

SE24 Sustainable Energy are launching their latest and biggest share offer on 5 July 2024.

The target is £420,00

This will pay for three new rooftop solar installations on schools in Southwark and Bexley. And three new LED installations in Southwark.

To join in please register your interest by e mailing [email protected] to receive the Share Offer Document and Application Form

An aerial shot of solar panels on the roof of a school

On the roof at:

  • Harris Girls, East Dulwich &
  • Woodside & Endeavour Academies, Bexley…

…SE24 will generate green electricity from 800 new solar panels

Under the roof at:

  • Harris Girls, East Dulwich
  • Woodside Academy
  • Lyndhurst Primary, Grove Lane
  • Bermondsey Central Hall…

…SE24 will install nearly 1400 new LED light fittings

Ten good reasons to invest in SE24’s latest solar generation and LED lighting projects:

  1. Help UK meet its zero carbon target
  2. Help your local school save money
  3. Help your local school reduce its carbon emissions
  4. Show how much you care about the planet
  5. Join a growing community energy group
  6. Help SE24 build its local portfolio
  7. Put your spare savings to good use and secure a 4% return on your investment (capital at risk)
  8. Work with others in your local community towards Net Zero
  9. Help alleviate fuel poverty (through our Community Fund)
  10. Show our government that you support action on climate change

Offer open 5 July to 4 August

To register your interest and receive share offer documents & application form e mail [email protected]

Labour announces their Great British Energy company designed to cut bills, promote energy security and help the UK towards net-zero

Labour announces their Great British Energy company designed to cut bills, promote energy security and help the UK towards net-zero

Headlines

  • £3.3bn for a Local Power Plan (largely disbursement of funds LA’s, metro mayors, community groups) – to be up and running quickly
  • Incorporate company through the Energy Independence Bill plus get Board, interim boss in place (drawing on UKIB expertise)
  • Remaining £5bn as investment capital to establish itself in market – longer term endeavour.
  • Might be based in Aberdeen… .but note GIB – HQ in Edinburgh while investment team in London – could feasibly have different aspects run from different locations.

See also

  • Politico’s analysis here:
  • the Labour Party’s own announcement here:
  • Ed Miliband on YouTube here:

SE24 secures grant finance for four more community energy projects

SE24 secures grant finance for four more community energy projects

SE24 is delighted to report that we have recently secured grant financing worth over £75,000 in total from round 7 of the London Community Energy Fund (LCEF) and the first ever round of the Southwark Community Energy Fund (SCEF).

The LCEF grants will support two community energy projects in Southwark primary schools:

  • LED lighting installation at Lyndhurst Primary School in Camberwell, SE5, which we are carrying out in partnership with South East London Community Energy (SELCE).
  • A retrofit feasibility assessment designed to improve energy performance at Belham Primary School, SE15, which we are carrying out in partnership with Retrofit Action for Tomorrow (RAFT)

Both primary schools are part of The Charter Schools Educational Trust with whom SE24 worked on other school projects in 2021. In addition, we are participating in an LCEF-funded feasibility study led by Repowering London looking into solar PV potential at Bacon’s College in Rotherhithe, SE16.

Charter School, North Dulwich

The Southwark Community Energy Fund capital grants will support two further projects in the borough:

  • The installation of solar panels at the Harris Academy East Dulwich Girls secondary school, SE22, for which we secured the maximum available grant of £50,000
  • The installation of LED lighting at Bermondsey Central Hall, a church and community centre, SE1, again in partnership with SELCE.  

The full LCEF announcement can be found here: https://www.london.gov.uk/programmes-strategies/environment-and-climate-change/net-zero-energy/london-community-energy-fund?ac-43339=213121 and we are most grateful to both the GLA and Southwark Council for their support.

These projects will significantly increase SE24’s portfolio and will figure in our forthcoming 2024 share offer – details to be announced very soon. If you want to be informed about share offer then e-mail [email protected] to receive the prospectus when available.

Westminster MPs back mandatory solar panels on new build homes

Westminster MPs back mandatory solar panels on new build homes

SE24 has 7 solar installations on community buildings in South London.

As well as funding and installing these ‘people’s power stations’ SE24 is also part of the wider campaign to encourage planning authorities everywhere to view favourably the installation of solar panels and battery storage. Together these measures will help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.

So it was particularly encouraging to read of a recent YouGov survey that revealed that:

‘79% of all MPs support making solar panels mandatory for all new-build homes from 2025 onwards. Three in five MPs (approximately 61%) believe that residential battery energy storage systems (BESS) should also be mandatory in new homes. The figure rises to 77% when focused solely on Labour MPs.’

Source: Ottilie Von Henning on Solar Power Portal, February 15, 2024

Five of our SE24 solare sites are on land under the freehold ownership of Dulwich Estates where the planning restrictions can be quite restrictive. Panels should be invisible from street level.

However they have similar rules regarding Velux windows however this latter ruling is widely ignored and we wonder how long it might be before the same applies to solar panels allowing more home owners and community buildings to start generating their own green electricity.

In the era of retrofit if solar panels were to become mandatory on new build homes then surely we should also loosen any restrictions on installing on existing housing stock and community buildings.

Welcome Kirsty Hamilton – SE24 Director

Welcome Kirsty Hamilton – SE24 Director

At the AGM we thanked Colin Crooks who has stepped down as a Director of SE24 having given so much to our operation over the past 5 years.

In his place we welcome a brand new, highly qualified director – Kirsty Hamilton. We asked Kirsty to introduce herself to SE24 by explaining why she is so keen to get more involved in Community Energy.

Climate crisis

July 2023 saw the hottest global temperatures on record, horrific scenes of fires raging across the Mediterranean and north Africa on the nightly news. This is amid a litany of climate-change linked disasters, many occurring in parts of the world where communities do not have the resources to respond and bounce back.

It’s a year on from 40C London, coinciding with the evolving energy price crisis that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The latter threw a powerful spotlight on the real cost of delays to insulating or retrofitting our homes and buildings for the future (both cold and heat) as well as the benefit renewables can bring. 

Community energy

Community energy can seem a small place to start in the face of such challenges given the scale and pace of climate action that is needed and the energy geopolitics that hinder decisive action. However, I believe that new locally developed models for energy solutions are an expanding and essential part of change.

Local ownership of projects through share offers is one SE24 example. These are new actions and solutions that literally start at home, in schools and community buildings we all use and involve new models such as community shareholding.

Retrofit and energy efficiency

The SE24 AGM and Public Meeting in June included excellent presentation from Harry Paticas, founder of RAFT – Retrofit Action for Tomorrow about RAFT’s pioneering work to improve energy efficiency in schools, and in the process to involve, educate and motivate pupils to make do their bit to improve energy efficiency.

Community Energy London

We also welcomed Syed Ahmed, Chair of Community Energy London (CEL) who eloquently argued the case that community energy has had a significant impact on policy in London and nationally. He introduced a brilliant search tool (the ‘potential map’) which allows anyone to find community buildings, in each borough, that are suitable for solar PV generation. Local council funding for community energy was another theme. CEL highlight hundreds of initiatives across London featuring SE24 installations!

Campaigner

That’s why I’m so pleased to be joining SE24 after over 30 years working at the international and national end of climate and energy as a Scot in Nunhead for the last 17 years.

I started out as a climate campaigner in Aotearoa New Zealand in 1990 (with the energy efficiency authority pulling together the analysis on the ‘avoided cost of electricity generation’– ‘negawatts’ – in 1989!).

As a campaigner I was at COP1 of the climate negotiations in 1995 and most recently COP26 in Glasgow! It is sobering thought though: in the year of COP1 global CO2 concentrations averaged 360ppm; by teh time of COP26 in Glasgow had escalated to 412 ppm. 

Much of my campaigning endeavour in London has been at the intersect between the financial sector and green energy policy – aiming to accelerate investment in renewables – but larger scale.

To me, all of these threads are linked, focusing on action on the ground that benefits people locally is going to be mission critical.  Here we are, again, 4 months from the onset of winter it seems more urgent than ever that actions are enabled at home or in community-focused and public buildings.

The work of SE24 and other community energy groups is part of making that happen.  The photo below shows their project at Charter School North Dulwich – two projects in one – community solar plus retrofit energy efficiency improvements.

SE24 installed more 300 plus panels on the school roofs to generate green electricity; and installed more than 1200 new LED light fittings inside which massively reduced the school’s electricity bills and their carbon footprint.

SE24 installation at Charter School, North Dulwich

International action in parallel with local action

Retrofit is certainly not easy. I know from personal experience trying to make my small flat more energy efficient (freezing in winter, boiling in summer – the familiar story) on a small budget and waiting to see what the Great British Insulation Scheme will do.

Published on 1 August 2023: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/great-british-insulation-scheme-and-eco4-la-and-supplier-flex-forms-and-subsidiary-documents

At the international level many are actively trying to ensure this year’s COP – COP28 – in UAE in late November ramps up commitment to global renewables. It is also essential to cut out fossil fuels and provide ‘climate finance’ for greater resilience and adaptation to climate change. 

But closer to home, I’m keen to see what I can contribute to SE24, and what I can learn from the exceptionally experienced SE24 Board of energy experts and leaders.  

Looking forward to 2023

Looking forward to 2023

SE24 New Year Social and 2023 briefing

It was great to see so many SE24 members and friends at our New Year Social last Sunday at the Carnegie Library. The attached presentation shows how SE24 made great progress in 2022. 2023 looks likely to be equally interesting with many opportunities for new installations.

Volunteers

Volunteers are now helping us in many new ways: with lighting surveys, grant applications, financial planning, promoting SE24. We always need more volunteers so if you would like to volunteer with us please contact our volunteer manager Dave Rinaldi (on [email protected]).

Living net Zero in South London

We are planning a free training event led by Jeremy Brackpool, who has been running courses for the past few years to help people in our local area to understand climate-change and their own power for good.

Duration: no more than 2 hours. Cost: free. Location: Ferndene Road. Date: tbc – in February

Please e mail me on [email protected] if you want to be added to the list.

SE24 and RAFT work with Diocese of Southwark – on school solar and LED feasibility assessments

SE24 and RAFT work with Diocese of Southwark – on school solar and LED feasibility assessments

On behalf of Retrofit Action for Tomorrow (RAFT: https://www.retrofitaction.org.uk/), SE24 is working with our preferred contactors Joju Solar and SELCE to carry out 14 solar PV and 5 LED lighting feasibility assessments at schools belonging to the Church of England’s Southwark Diocese

This work is part of a larger RAFT project for the Diocese which is financed by a grant from the Low Carbon Skills Fund.

One early project has been examining the feasability of installing solar PV panels at Dulwich Hamlet Junior School. 14 other sites are being investigating throughout the diocese which extends well down in Sussex. The team msot recently visited St Bede’s School in Redhill.

LED lighting surveys in Southwark

LED lighting surveys in Southwark

Following the successful completion of LED projects at Charles Dickens Primary, Charter School North Dulwich (both in 2021) and Goodrich Community Primary School in 2022 (see post here) SE24 are now surveying other schools in Southwark to see if they can benefit in the same way.

We received two London Community Energy Fund grants worth £13,500 in total, to survey six Southwark schools or community buildings working closely with Southwark Council. This opportunity is open to all schools in the Borough. If you want a survey contact [email protected]

These projects have been carried out in partnership with our neighbouring community energy group SELCE, and has engaged a number of SE24’s own volunteers who took part in SELCE training before their site visits.

“I really enjoyed the two days with Lawrence and Nadia at Ark Globe Academy. It is a huge site so it was good to be working alongside the SELCE professionals. The Retrolux software takes a bit of getting used to, but we soon got in the swing of it and learned just how many different lighting systems there are out there. It has certainly increased my own awareness of how much can be saved in the long term by switching to LED, so much so that I have been through my own home and switched to LED bulbs throughout! It is rewarding to know that by giving a little time now and then we can do our own little bit for the planet and hopefully help schools and others save financially and put those saved funds to better use.”

SE24 member and LED lighting survey volunteer Mark Dixon

“I wanted to volunteer to help with the LED surveys for several reasons – firstly that in the era of climate change, I feel it is very important to conserve energy, and these surveys are one way to help with this, as well as helping the organisations to lower their bills.  I also have a keen interest in physics (I have a degree in microelectronics), so this subject is one in which I have a personal interest.  During the survey, I enjoyed the chance to help in a practical way; Lawrence and Nadia were very welcoming and helped me to learn quickly about how to recognise different types of light fittings and bulbs, and how to enter the details using the software, and I feel inspired to assist on future ones whenever this is possible”

SE24 lighting survey volunteer, Carol

SE24 complete LED installation at Goodrich Primary School, East Dulwich

SE24 complete LED installation at Goodrich Primary School, East Dulwich

In October 2022, we completed installing LED lighting at Goodrich Community Primary School in East Dulwich, London SE22.

A total of 465 lamps/fittings were replaced with efficient LEDs throughout the school.  

SE24 delivered this project in partnership with South East London Community Energy (SELCE) and our installation contractor was the EES Group.  

As well as a one-third capital grant from the GLA’s London Community Energy Fund, the school’s PTA (Friends of Goodrich) made a substantial contribution towards the project cost.

We estimate that this LED installation will save the school over £15,000 in electricity costs per year and avoid 12 tonnes of CO2 emissions eachyear.

“I’m delighted that SE24 and partners were able to complete all of the LED lighting installation so efficiently. It’s all looking brilliant (literally!) and couldn’t have been better timing for the school to be able to take advantage of the financial savings immediately.”

Eleanor Fawcett, Goodrich School Governor, Chair of the Premises Committee