Another area where Hartlepower actively supports their community is the installation of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels. Determined to make solar energy available to everyone in the town and for a fair price, they help with the whole planning and installation process, from an initial estimation of existing consumption to exploring solutions, choosing a recommended installer and scheduling installation to minimise disruption.
As well as acquiring their own electric van (delightfully named ‘Eggy’, short for Egbert), Hartlepower has worked with Enterprise vehicle hire to set up a community car club, initially providing two hybrid electric vehicles for anyone to use.
Hartlepower’s overriding purpose is to promote community benefit in Hartlepool – economic, environmental & social – to increase people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Their collaborative and enabling approach to working on all kinds of carbon-reduction activities in the town has helped to ‘create energy’ around developing new skills and employment for local people.
Paul Hewitson, one of Hartlepower’s directors says: “When it comes to going greener, things need to move very quickly now, so we’ve partnered with bigger organisations. This takes away the issue of finding finance for everything we do, which we found difficult when we started. We can deliver a lot more projects through partnership working, instead of trying to do everything on our own.”
Useful learnings from Hartlepower
The costs can be a very difficult thing to overcome, but if you work out a strategy and the financing, you'll realise it is more beneficial in the long term to choose the more sustainable option.
Finding and working with suitable partners has enabled Hartlepower to cover a lot more ground, more quickly.
Residential and PV installations.
Car club bookings.
Community engagement (e.g. event participation, enquiries).