Hackney Light and Power: Council unveils new publicly-owned energy company

Hackney Light and Power.

Hackney Light and Power. - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council has unveiled its new publicly-owned energy services company, which will help deliver the ambitious decarbonisation pledges included in its climate emergency motion.

Hackney Light and Power will generate clean energy, help eliminate land transport emissions and reduce carbon emissions across the borough.

The company, owned, run and managed by the council, was a pledge in last year's Labour manifesto, and will formally launch in the spring, when details of a huge rooftop solar project will be revealed.

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. 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.

Environment chief Cllr Jon Burke said: "Our renewable and low-carbon energy company will focus on turning Hackney into a major generator of electricity from rooftop solar.

"Hackney will not remain untouched by the serious impacts of global warming. That is why we're committing to deliver a publicly-owned energy company that will play an important role in how we power ourselves in a low carbon world.

"Both the name and logo of the new company encapsulate Hackney's historical role as a pioneering energy generator, and convey the spirit in which we intend to use the company to help tackle the climate emergency."

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Revenue from the company will be ploughed back into the council's other decarbonisation projects.

It is on a drive to cover the roof space it owns with solar panels. The first two projects are at the London Fields Lido and the West Reservoir Centre, where 250kWh will be generated for the centres to run on.

The company will also address fuel poverty through the council's new home insulation programme, announced by Cllr Burke in the Gazette's climate crisis edition last month.

He said the council will ensure its housing stock doesn't fall below the energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of C from 2030. It will also incentivise private landlords by offering to pay for the work.

The company will also oversee the rapid extension of electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

In February the council declared a climate emergency, and pledged to do everything in its power to deliver net zero emissions across all of its functions by 2040.

That's 10 years earlier than the government target and in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) "higher confidence threshold" for limiting global warming to 1.5C.

Find out more about the council's decarbonisation programme at the annual Sustainability Day at the Town Hall on November 16. It will feature a zero-waste market, free bicycle checks, a clothes swap, endangered species face-painting, and lots of other stalls providing advice on environmental sustainability.

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