I'm Nigel from Energise Barnet. Back in October we were awarded some funding at 10:10's Pitch Pledge Party event to help us take our community energy and renewables initiative to the next level. Since then we've been very busy indeed!
The first thing we have had to deal with was the effects of the Feed-In Tariff cutbacks; we had to try to complete the backlog of solar PV installations by 12 December! This proved impossible and unfortunately we lost a lot of orders. This was down to homeowners and organisations not being able to sort out various issues with funding or planning permission in time. It was a pretty major setback but we're glad to say that there has been some good news to balance it out and help us move forward.
I've spent a lot of this past month in meetings, giving presentations and speaking at events. We are trying to build a network of people involved with the Green Deal so I've been speaking with homeowners, civil society organizations, prospective partners and suppliers.
I've also been chatting with other community energy organisations as we’re trying to come up with a definition for a Community Feed in Tariff. As if that wasn't enough I've been in communication with DECC officials, energy suppliers and potential Green Deal providers too. So many people, so little time!
To top it off, earlier this month I was one of only nine people to be invited by the government to help shape national policy on community energy. Energise Barnet was the only London based organization invited. Together with the other groups we will work with the government to help community energy schemes, encourage carbon reduction and community action and attempt to diversify the supply chain! I had my first meeting with Greg Baker and DECC officials yesterday and after that I was lucky enough to get to see Kasabian at the O2. What a day and what a show!
And finally, today Barnet Council awarded us funding to develop a plan of attack to reduce the local community's carbon footprint. This will involve making homes more energy efficient, reducing fuel poverty and making renewable energy more affordable. It has been an amazing week, an amazing year in fact!
We now also have an eight man office in Finchley. We've got desks but we're still missing a bit of furniture; filing cabinets, printer etc. If any of you know of any going spare we would really appreciate it if you could get in touch via the link at the bottom of the page!
We have loads of exciting projects for 2012. We're planning an Energise Barnet Roadshow which will see us putting on pop-up advice centres all across the borough where we'll dish out hints on energy saving measures and information on renewables.
In spite of all this success, there is one thing we are short of however, and that's volunteers. We desperately need extra help so, if you live in the area and want to lend a hand we’d love to hear from you. Your time and help would be greatly appreciated.
Have a great Christmas and a fun-filled 2012!
PS: A few of the best ways to stay in touch with us: