South East London Community Energy

Business, Community • Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lewisham

A community energy co-op supporting people in south-east London to access affordable and sustainable energy.

  • One of Selce's solar arrays on community buildings in SE London
  • Selce give free impartial energy advice to people struggling with bills
  • Selce's team working in the community

Our story

South East London Community Energy (Selce) was born in 2014, when a group of people living in Greenwich & Lewisham became so concerned about climate change that they decided to come up with a formula that would help to create a clean and just energy future.

We began by increasing South-East London's capacity for solar energy generation. To date we have installed community, member-owned solar panels on 11 schools, community buildings, churches and even a local hotel. Supplying power to the buildings they sit on, each year the arrays collectively generate 487,326 kilowatt-hours of clean electricity. Over the 20-year lifetime of our project these installations will prevent nearly 7 million metric tons of carbon emissions and save the site owners more than £300,000.

For the past seven years we have used the surplus funds from our solar sites to support local communities that are experiencing fuel poverty. We do this through energy advice, energy debt management, advocacy and education including:

-running free energy advice phone, home visits and drop-in café services;
-helping households access grant funding for home energy improvements;
-organising workshops with voluntary sector organisations and carers;
-training 'energy champions' to help empower their communities to make their homes more energy-efficient and understand the wider energy sector; and,
-delivering time-limited, needs-based, projects in partnership with local authorities and organisations.

More recently, we have developed our expertise to help households, organisations and businesses make their homes more energy efficient through behaviour change, raising awareness of different available technologies and supporting their installation of solar arrays. We run three main programmes that respond to this need: LED-ing the way! and Future-Fit Homes programmes.

As an award-winning member of Community Energy England, Selce is proud to be part of a national network of community energy groups that are paving the way for a cleaner, fairer, brighter future.

Our advice

Selce is a member-led co-operative generating energy for the community by the community.

We are currently developing an organisational lessons learned summary.

Our metrics

To date, across our 11 community sites, we have generated 2,233,586.6KWh of electricity, or 2,233.6MWh. This equates to 550 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide not being released into the atmosphere; according to Carbon Independent the average car releases 280g of CO2 per mile, meaning that the equivalent of 1.8 million miles worth of carbon dioxide emissions from car journeys has been stopped from being released into the atmosphere, or the equivalent of just shy of 76 journeys around the entire circumference of earth.

Overall we have saved £97,882.26 in total for our 11 sites over the total operating time of our arrays, meaning they can divert their income to better serve their communities.

We further support community organisations and homeowners to reduce their bills and carbon footprint by providing retrofit consultation and project delivery services such as lighting system upgrades, thermal imaging and knowledge building around available technologies.

With surplus from our sites we work in partnership with local community organisations and local authorities in order to help people in South-East London who are struggling to pay their energy bills. We help on average over 4,000 people a year by:
- advocating to their suppliers
- supporting access discounts and grants
- awareness raising around energy-saving around the home

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Response to climate crisis

Mitigation & Adaptation




Business, Community, 10 to 49 people

Shared by

Flavia Bertram

Updated Nov, 2023

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