Hackney Council launches its own energy company

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HACKNEY Council has announced details of its new publicly owned energy services company, set to generate clean energy, eliminate land transport emissions, reduce the Council’s own carbon emissions, and supporting residents and businesses to do the same.

Called Hackney Light and Power, the new company, which is owned, run, and managed by the local authority, will play a key role in delivering the Council’s decarbonisation targets.

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.

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 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.

Cllr Jon Burke, Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm, commented on company launch:

“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.”

Hackney has a long 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, which was the first municipal energy company to generate electricity from burning waste.

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.’