Council announces details of its new energy company
Hackney Council has announced details of its new publicly-owned energy services company, set to help transform the local energy system by generating clean energy, eliminating land transport emissions, drastically reducing the Council’s own carbon emissions, and supporting residents and businesses to do the same.
Called Hackney Light and Power, the new company - owned, run, and managed by the local authority - will play a key role in delivering the Council’s ambitious decarbonisation targets set out in the climate emergency motion passed at Full Council in June 2019.
Hackney Light and Power will formally launch in spring 2020, when details about the company’s large-scale rooftop solar project will be revealed - part of an ambition to turn Hackney into a leader in urban clean energy generation.
Energy generated by the borough will provide clean, local electrical power, reducing the carbon intensity of the grid and generating revenue for reinvestment in decarbonisation and public amenities for the benefit of all Hackney residents.
The company will also work to improve the sustainability of Hackney’s energy system by reducing energy demand while addressing fuel poverty through a new, borough-wide home insulation programme.
Hackney Light and Power will also oversee the rapid expansion of electric vehicle charging points in the borough, as part of the Council’s long-term efforts to eliminate polluting combustion engines and ensure that those vehicles that remain are increasingly shared and zero emission at the tailpipe.
Following the commitment to deliver a publicly-owned energy company in the 2018 Manifesto, and subsequent stretching environmental targets in our June 2019 climate emergency motion, I am delighted to announce both the new name of the company, Hackney Light and Power, and our unique logo as an important next step towards an energy company that will help the Council halve its planet-heating emissions by 2030 and deliver net zero emissions by 2040.
Our renewable and low-carbon energy company will focus on turning Hackney into a major generator of electricity from rooftop solar. Upcoming solar projects at London Fields Lido and the West Reservoir Leisure Centre will ensure these buildings become the first in the borough to use decentralised clean energy as a significant source of their power.
The company will also aim to make a major contribution to air quality and road transport emissions in the borough through electric vehicle charging, and help eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and fuel poverty by reducing demand for energy through a new scheme, called the Green Homes Programme, which will fund many low carbon, passive home insulation installations at zero cost to the household.”
The energy system is just one area in which we need to rapidly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet, with increasingly worrying impacts on humans and ecosystems across the world. Hackney will not remain untouched by the serious impacts of global warming. That is why, amongst our other groundbreaking environmental programmes, 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.
Hackney has a long and proud history of municipal energy generation through innovative technology. In the 19th century, the local council - then called Shoreditch Vestry - created the Shoreditch Electric Light Network. It was the first municipal energy company to generate electricity from burning waste, and the council’s motto of More Light, More Power was created to reflect its unique role in the energy system.
Hackney Light and Power builds on that tradition, and the new company's icon - a tribute to the Lady Progress figure at Shoreditch Town Hall - recalls the history of power generation in Hackney, and the rays of sunlight seek to evoke faith and optimism Hackney Light and Power has in the future of clean energy generation.
To find out more about Hackney Light and Power, and the Council’s radical plans to address man made global warming across its full range of function, sign up to the Council’s green newsletter at: hackney.gov.uk
Residents can also find out more about the Council’s decarbonisation programme at the third annual Sustainability Day, which will be hosted at the Town Hall on 16 November, featuring a zero waste market, free bicycle checks, a clothes swap, endangered species face-painting, and lots of other stalls providing advice on environmental sustainability.