This morning’s steering group meeting injected inspiring, positive sparks into the 1066 Local Energy campaign.
One plan in particular grabbed our attention: creating a community owned Energy Local club by supplying Sandown Primary School with solar panels (their head, Charlie Lindsay, is a member of the steering group) and 100 nearby homes with energy hubs to catalyse a new model of energy supply for Hastings and St Leonards on Sea.
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 2 tariffs on offer: ‘green’ that is power entirely from clean renewable sources and ‘brown’, which is 48% clean and renewable; and the same tariffs would be available to those on pre-payment meters, who usually pay a much higher price for their power. Smart pay-as-you go prepay meters would replace the standard key meters 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.
“We would love to get to a fixed price tariff of 10.66 pence per kilowatt hour” adds Richard Watson of ESC “because that would be a very competitive price now and get better every year as electricity prices go up.”
People involved in the community energy club scheme – and their neighbours – would save money, reduce fuel poverty, support their local community – and of course, make a vital contribution to lowering our collective carbon footprint.
We talked about the incredible changes taking place within the power supply industry – especially in the field of smart local grids, demand management and battery storage. Funding is available to make these visions a reality.
Connections between individuals and organisations emerged including schools, housing, electric and solar powered bikes, solar charging stations, health and social well-being and local employment opportunities: all creating a sustainable, affordable, mindful and heartful place to live and work.
1066 Local Energy Champion training will take place next Thursday (21st September) for residents of Ore and St Leonards on Sea. 7.30–9.30pm at The Palace on the seafront in Hastings. Contact Kate Meakin if you’re interested.