Hackney Energy

Bannister Estate residents formed Hackney’s first green energy co-op, generating sustainable power and addressing youth unemployment and fuel poverty, on top of giving Hackney residents ethical investment opportunities.

Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Hackney Energy's story

The first community owned solar project in Hackney is well established and went live in Banister House estate in 2015. This project is still the UK’s largest community energy project on social housing. Hackney Energy worked with Repowering London to develop this project alongside residents of the estate.

Banister House Solar now generates roughly enough energy to power 38 Banister flats for a year. This energy powers the communal areas of the estate, and surplus energy is sold back to the grid.

The Banister House project is run as a co-operative with four local directors from the estate. The installation gave paid employment and work experience to 30 local young people. Individuals can buy shares in the project, with a discounted rate for estate residents. Shareholders have a say in how the project is run and receive around 4% interest on their investment a year. Other profits are put into the Banister House Community Fund for fuel poverty initiatives and youth activities on the estate.

Co-director Wilhelmina Stewart told Far Nearer: ​“It’s amazing when you can just put it through the meter and feed it through the grid. Especially because the land in London is taken up by development, so we don’t have space for power stations. Now we have these little battery cells that sit on top of the roof sending power to the grid and making money for the community.”

Hackney Energy's story has been reproduced with kind permission from Change The Rules. Visit www.letschangetherules.org to discover inspiring new economy projects across the UK.

Image: CC Stock Photo

What have you learnt that others will find most useful?

  • Rather than polluting the earth and depleting the energy that we’ve got why not harness the sun so the community can have a way of keeping warm, cooking, providing hot water without having power stations.
  • An important part of the project is that young people are trained to build and maintain the solar panels.
  • The hardest moment is getting started.
  • Nothing is impossible, until you have tried.

Measures of success?

Paid employment opportunities and work experience placements. Funds raised for the Banister House Community Fund. Community project implemented. Reduction in carbon emissions.

Read more: http://www.hackneyenergy.org.uk/

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