Would you like to have solar panels on your home?
But don’t know who to trust and how expensive they would be?
The Highgate boroughs of Camden, Haringey and Islington have all been included in the second phase of the Mayor of London’s Solar Together scheme. Residents are encouraged to express their interest in rooftop solar here, await the results of a ‘reverse auction’ and discover whether their roof is suitable before deciding whether to go ahead.
The first pilot phase of Solar Together was for four boroughs and, out of 4,000 registrations, more than 1,100 went ahead to accept. The winning company in the first phase of the scheme was SolarCentury (together with Ikea), which offered an average saving of 35 per cent on the cost of solar installations.
Every kWh of solar energy you would produce is calculated to use only 52gm/CO2 per kWh compared with 369gm/CO2 from natural gas and 837gm/CO2 from coal. If you are able to use your own electricity for charging an electric car, that would reduce the UK’s CO2 from the displaced petrol or diesel. (figures from Ricardo at Ecotricity)
The Governments Feed In Tariff scheme is closing for new installations in April 2019. For solar panels installed before it closes the owner will be paid 3.86p for every kWh generated (or 3.79p if after 1st Jan) plus 5.24p for half of the kWh (called ‘export’) – regardless of whether you can use the electricity yourself. See here. These will be for 20 years and increased every year for RPI. And are Tax free. You will also save apx 15p kWh on payments to your usual supplier when you use your own electricity. Before committing to this purchase you will be given the precise figures to work out your cost/savings. Note that you will need an up to date Energy Performance Certificate to prove that your house is reasonably energy efficient. See here to check.
- Registration opens – 23 June 2018. Click here. You will be asked questions about your roof, such as size and orientation, but also consider whether you have the legal rights to attach anything to the roof. If it is someone else you could approach them before applying or tell them about the opportunity later.
- Auction takes place – 22 August 2018
- Personalised offers sent out – 10 September 2018
- Acceptance ends – 19 October 2018
- Installations take place – October 2018 to end March 2019
The burning issue for Highgate is whether the relevant council will allow solar panels to be installed, depending on whether the property is in a conservation area, listed or not.
The national guidelines from the Planning Portal are:
“In many cases fixing solar panels to the roof of a single family dwelling is likely to be considered ‘permitted development’ with no need to apply for planning permission. There are however, important exceptions and conditions which must be observed. These permitted development rights apply to houses. If you live in a flat and are considering fitting solar panels please visit the Planning Portal for further updates.” And the general exceptions are:
- it would protrude more than 20cm from the wall or above the roof slope (when measured perpendicularly from the external surface of the wall or roof);
- the highest part of the solar panel or equipment will be higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding any chimney);
- the property is in a conservation area and/or covered by an Article 4 Direction and it would be located on a wall or roof slope visible from the road; or
- it would be installed on an outbuilding within the grounds of a listed building
- If your house or flat is a listed building (or part of a listed building), you will need to apply for listed building consent to install a solar .
If these apply – and the majority of homes in Highgate are in a conservation area – then you will need to apply for full planning permission (flats) or householder planning permission (houses) to proceed with Solar Together. The programme has a helpdesk opne Monday to Friday, 8am-5.30pm on 0800 060 8509, where this can be discussed.
CAMDEN HOME OWNERS
No specific web site for Solar Together has been found for Camden, but expressions of interest can be made here .
HARINGEY HOME OWNERS
Haringey’s Solar Together web site is here. and their leaflet is below:
Islington’s Solar Together web site is here:
Do I need Planning Permission to install solar panels? The rule of thumb for homes in the Islington conservation areas is that panels should not be visible from the street. See advice here. For listed buildings owners would need to go through the usual process for permission.
FAQs here and Twitter is at @solartogether
Solar Together London is being run in partnership with iChoosr – independent experts in group buying. Their dedicated helpdesk is available to answer your questions Monday to Friday, 8am-5.30pm on 0800 060 8509.
Note that Londoners outside of these boroughs may still participate in the scheme, but this will be subject to installers’ availability in your area.
Highgate Festival events July 2018
The Day before Tomorrow: Dreams of a Summer evening
When: Sun 8th July. Screening of Demain 6-7pm, refreshments and entertainment 7-9pm
Where: LUX Centre, Waterlow Park, and Waterlow Park Kitchen Garden, Waterlow Park Highgate Hill, Highgate, London N6 5HD
This evening in Waterlow Park was based on the north London season of Demain (tomorrow) showings. It celebrated some optimistic futures that are unfolding around the world, and explored ideas for a friendlier, fairer and more sustainable future right here in North London.
Great Mansions/Edwardian super-rich of Highgate – a talk by Richard Webber
When: Sun 8th July. 6.30pm-7pm
Where: Highgate Society, 10A South Grove, Free
There is no Planet B
was on Saturday 7th July at the Omved Gardens, Highgate
There was a variety of speakers from the head of the London World Food Program, pesticide free London; Bees for development; Provenance on block chain; a food waste entrepreneur, Freedom Seed team, change and why don’t we do it etc had 5 minutes each to enthral and provoke.
One of the talks, by Catherine Budgett-Meakin of the Highgate Society Sustainable Living group was “There is No Planet B” (click to open)
Series of cafe events to watch ‘Demain‘ and talk about different topics
1st Food – was on Mon 30th Nov at The Grafton, Kentish Town
2nd: Energy – was on Tues 9th Jan at The Vine, Kentish Town
FOR THE ENERGY CAFE POSTER SET click Domestic energy reduction Switch to Green electricity and gas Electric cars - part of the Grid London Energy is Changing UK Energy is Changing Moving your money from fossil fuel to clean energy Paris Agreement - Good News and Bad News Lobby for Laws to reduce Greenhouse Gases
Click here for Energy Efficiency Grants from Camden Council
The Energy session encouraged people to do what they can to reduce energy use and be part of the move from fossil fuel energy to renewable energy.
3rd: Transport was on 29th Jan 2018 at The Grafton, Kentish Town.
4th: New Economy was on Mon 23rd April at The Grafton, Kentish Town. Frances Northrup of the New Economics Foundation talked about a more participatory local politics and bottom up democracy.
5th: Education was on Mon 21st May 2018 at The Grafton Kentish Town. It explored what Education was for, how we eductae for active citizenship and who decides on the curriculum.
Ongoing: Free Electric Vehicle trials
Wood Green businesses and residents can trial an electric vehicle (for free) for up to one week. To find out more or to book a trial contact us on 020 8489 3489 or email NOF@haringey.gov.uk And check as these may be open to people in other parts of Haringey too.
You can currently choose from:
- Nissan Leaf – car (external link)
- Peugeot Partner Electric – van (external link)
- Citroen Berlingo Electric – van (external link)
Drivers will need to hold a full driving licence and adhere to insurance requirements.
Trials are subject to vehicle availability. See below for event produced specifically for local businesses. For more information visit http://www.haringey.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/travel/neighbourhoods-future-wood-green
STOP PRESS on charging points in Islington.
“Fast chargers on St John’s and Giesbach Road are now installed along with a rapid charger on Pemberton Gardens (a rapid charger can give an 80% boost in just 30mins compared to a couple of hours using a fast charger) – one of the first of its kind in the borough. ” See Going Green in Pooterland for more details.
Shell have installed one of its first forecourt rapid charging points in its Holloway petrol station. According to Air Quality news “Shell has been collaborating with Transport for London (TfL) to introduce the charging points, in line with the London Mayor’s drive for a Zero Emission capital by 2050.”
ENLARGING THE EDMONTON ENERGY FROM WASTE PLANT:Why so large and how will it affect recycling in North London ?- 12th July 2017
The meeting discussed:
- the rationale for such a massive increase in capacity at the plant
- the effect will this have on recycling rates
- alternative waste technologies that could cut emissions and increase reycling
When: Mon 17th July 2017
Electric Vehicles – A Realistic Alternative? Hosted by the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group.
Source: Greenwatt Sustainable Solutions
Sydney Charles of Transition Highgate spoke on progress at national, London-wide and Haringey levels in supporting a transition to electric vehicles.
Friedbert Meinert, product designer, spoke from first-hand experience of owning a Nissan Leaf and Heisenberg state-of-the-art electric bike.
Gillian Cox of Haringey attended. She announced the Neighbourhoods of the Future web site at http://www.haringey.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/travel/neighbourhoods-future-wood-green. This explains Haringey initiatives, such as options for trialling electric vehicles and getting free reviews for businesses.
Project Dirt has a full list of events coming up. See here for details.
Leonardo Dicaprio’s film is truly scary – not in the usual horror film way, but because it truly captures the devastation already being wreaked on our world. Leonardo sets the scene with the allegory of Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, where mankind is originally innocent, then enjoys earthly delights and then suffers in a hell – featuring a part with an uncanny resemblance to the Satantic Mills.
For those who want to hear about the devastating effects of climate change already, the causes, real solutions and fightback by figures including The Pope, Ban Ki Moon, Elon Musk and ordinary people, this is a must see.
Before the Flood was released by National Geographic – not for the cinema route but for home downloads. You can go to your Sky or Virgin download menu and search for ‘Before the Flood’ to view it for free. It can be viewed in sections – outlined below . More
Bringing the Paris Agreement into Force at Marrakesh
CLICK HERE FOR THE RUNNING TOTALS OF PARTIES THAT HAVE RATIFIED
Update 5th Oct: Sufficient ratifications were received (including the overall EU) for the Paris Agreement to come into force on 4th Nov in time for the COP22 in Marrakesh. See here for UN announcement and here for EU announcement.
Major emitters, including the USA and China, have shown leadership by ratifying the Agreement and the EU has shown leadership in ratifying as an overarching Party. Concerns about President Trump trying to dismantle the Agreement were added to the saga when the American election followed only days after the Agreement came into force.
Update. Boris Johnson ratified the Agreement on behalf of the UK on 17th Nov 2016. The UK Youth Climate Coalition met with the UK representative, Nick Hurd, at COP22 in Marrakesh on the same day and and urged him to align UK emissions targets with 1.5C. More