Hackney Council is launching its own, publicly owned energy company which will generate clean energy for the borough in a bid to meet its pledge to slash carbon emissions to zero by 2040.
One of the first Hackney Light and Power projects will be roof-top solar panels at London Fields Lido and West Reservoir Leisure Centre. The council hopes both sites will be powered entirely by clean energy. More projects will follow and ultimately Hackney Light and Power aims to be able to sell clean energy to residents in the borough.
A council spokesperson said: “The longer term ambition is for residents to be able to buy their energy through the company but this won’t be available straight away – the initial focus will be on generating clean energy locally.”
The council has also outlined plans to address fuel poverty through its new home insulation programme.
Councillor Jon Burke, cabinet member for energy, said the council would ensure its housing stock doesn’t fall below the energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of C from 2030. He said the council would also incentivise private landlords by offering to pay for the work.
Burke added: “We will deliver across our full range of functions. That is very considerable when you consider half of the housing stock is council owned. This is not a case of hubris, but our targets are unbelievably stretching. We’re talking about turning around an economic system that came into being over 300 years ago in a couple of decades.”
The council is also working to ensure its housing stock has a strong energy rating.
Hackney Light and Power will also oversee the rapid extension of electric vehicle (EV) charging points in the borough.
The new company was a pledge in last year’s Labour manifesto and will launch in the spring.
In the 19th century the council – then the Shoreditch Vestry – created the Shoreditch Electric Light Network, the first municipal energy company to generate electricity from burning waste. The logo is a nod to the Lady Progress figure at Shoreditch Town Hall and Hackney’s history of municipal energy generation using innovative technology. The creation of the company is part of the council’s pledge to slash carbon emissions which will help deliver the ambitious decarbonisation pledges included in its climate emergency motion.
The creation of the company is part of the council’s pledge to slash carbon emissions which will help deliver the ambitious decarbonisation pledges included in its climate emergency motion.
As part of the Green New Deal, the Labour party has set a target for net zero emissions by 2030. Hackney Council, however, is pledging to cut emissions by 45 per cent by 2030. Burke said he thought the Labour targets were “completely unrealistic and absurd”.
The council will promote its decarbonisation programme at its annual Sustainability Day at Hackney Town Hall on 16 November.