Energy hub initiative takes off

The latest steering group meeting for 1066 Local Energy was sparking with ideas, initiatives and connections with one idea in particular evolving from vision to reality: creating a community owned Energy Local club, supplying Sandown Primary School in Ore with solar panels and 100 nearby homes with energy hubs to catalyse a new model of energy supply for Hastings and St Leonards on Sea.

Posing_in_Volts_wagon

Tippy Fisher checking out the Volts Wagon

The core goals within the 1066 Local Energy campaign are to generate locally-owned, clean renewable energy, reducing bills and fuel poverty, reducing energy wastage and ensuring that any financial profits are re-invested into the local community – and making a vital contribution to lowering our collective carbon footprint.

 

How would an energy hub work? The electricity generated by the solar panels and not used on site would be bought by the energy supplier, Our Power, a not for profit organisation supporting social housing – and the Local Energy club would buy it back at a reduced rate, avoiding the National Grid – and reducing costs.

 

There would be two tariffs on offer: a ‘green’ tariff powered entirely from clean renewable sources and a ‘brown’ tariff, which is 48% clean and renewable. To help those on pre-payment meters, who usually pay a much higher price for their power, these same tariffs would be available. “Smart pay-as-you-go prepay meters would replace the standard key meters,” says Richard Watson, director and founder of Energise Sussex Coast, one of the local organisations supporting the 1066 Local Energy campaign, “with credit available over holidays and at weekends and the rates would be priced below the Big 6 and be among the lowest tariffs on the market.

“The more energy the community club generates and supplies to Our Power, the more the brown tariff would be able to change to clean renewable sourced energy and the prices would stabilise.”

 

Generating energy from clean and renewable sources makes simple common sense. Every individual person can make a difference: this change in energy supply and consumption will involve local people, not only those at the top of the political and corporate hierarchies. Thousands of initiatives like this one in Ore are happening right now around the world – community inspired initiatives, transforming our relationship with the energy we consume. Alan Simpson, sustainability advisor for the shadow cabinet, supporter of the 1066 Local Energy campaign, says that we will become ‘prosumers’ – producers as well as consumers.

written by Zelly Restorick