Community initiative hopes to Energise Barnet

Energise Barnet, a community initiative set up by local residents, plans to set up a network of ‘green’ buying groups in order to help homeowners and local businesses generate their own electricity and make their homes more energy efficient.

As part of this new scheme, Energise Barnet seeks to partner with installers of solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, heating boilers, solid wall insulation and providers of other green products and services. By helping local residents to realise their green potential, Energise Barnet hopes to bring down energy bills and increase carbon awareness.

Energise Barnet will advise members on how they can benefit from Government incentives, such as the feed-in tariff (FiT), renewable heat incentive (RHI), smart metering and the forthcoming Green Deal. The initiative will establishthe buying groups so members can secure discounts on the installation of solar energy systems, solid wall insulation and other energy efficiency measures.

Supporters of the initiative’s aims include Barnet Council, the Mayor, Local MPs, CommUNITYBarnet, Barnet College, Middlesex University, Business in the Community, Energy Savings Trust, Friends of the Earth, the Micropower Council, National Insulation Association and the Prince’s Mayday Network.

Nigel Farren, Founder of Barnet Resident and Trustee of Community Barnet said, “Most of the 140,000 homes and buildings in Barnet are old and un-insulated and hardly anyone generates their own energy. As a result, they spend more on gas and electricity than they need do and Barnet has the 4th highest carbon emissions of any London borough.  Added to this, most people are unaware of the benefits of insulation and generating their own energy or how to go about finding installers they can trust.”

“We therefore seek to partner with reputable accredited, installers for whom we will provide a route to market, leads within closely defined areas, the ability to reduce operational costs andan opportunity to enhance reputation and trust amongst homeowners, schools, churches and businesses. Energise Barnet is a pilot and if successful, we will also offer the supply chain scalability by replicating the model in other areas such as Energise Enfield, Energise St Albans and Energise Watford.”

“Sport clubs, resident associations, environmental groupsand businesses are already signposting residents to the initiative and if the whole communitypulls together on this, it can transform Barnet into one of the ‘greenest’ London boroughs. It’s potentially a win-win for all concerned. The local community saves and make money. Installers obtain new orders. ‘Green’ jobs are created and the environment benefits from lower carbon emissions,” concluded Farren.

Energise Barnet has also received seed funding after coming top in a competition to find ideas to accelerate the creation of a sustainable energy system. ‘Gatecrashing the UK Energy sector’ was a competition run by Forum for the Future, attracting more than 70 different ideas, with the best being invited to pitch for a prize donated by the Tellus Mater Foundation.