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Power to the people: Grants scheme reopens for Islington communities to propose energy projects

Islington is inviting people with bright ideas for dynamic local energy projects to apply for funding to help turn them into reality.


A dozen ideas and projects have won funding in the first round of the Community Energy Fund and are now in the works – including plans for a bicycle-powered boom box at Cape Adventure Playground.


The 12 successful schemes and ideas also included a replacement lighting project at Caxton House Community Centre in Upper Holloway, that will see its lights replaced with LED bulbs to save up to three tonnes of carbon per year, cutting their energy bills by hundreds of pounds.


Elsewhere, Newbery House Co-operative in Canonbury, Elizabeth House Community Centre in Highbury and Elthorne Pride in Upper Holloway have been funded to carry out feasibility studies into solar panel and battery storage projects.


As the first round of grant awards is announced today (9 March), applications also open for the second round of funding to get projects off the ground. Initial funding is also available for groups who need to carry out feasibility studies or research to develop a new energy project or idea from scratch.


Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “I’m really impressed with the enthusiasm and imagination I’ve seen in the applications for the first round of funding.


“I’m already looking forward to seeing these projects come to fruition, and hearing about other schemes and bright ideas for generating power at a local level, cutting energy bills and reducing the borough’s carbon footprint.


“The Community Energy Fund is a great grass-roots initiative that can literally put power in the hands of residents, community groups and charitable organisations.”


Rudi Schmidt of Cape Adventure Playground said: “We are delighted to be receiving money from the Islington Community Energy Fund. We will be teaming up with Electric Pedals to produce a bicycle-powered electricity generator and boom-box.


“Not only will this provide an exciting hands-on opportunity for the children to learn about how electricity is generated, but it will also provide us with energy-saving equipment that can be used on a daily basis at Cape, at events across the service and in our local community.”


Feasibility grants of between £250 and £2,500 per project are available, and grants run up to £15,000 per project. The total fund available is £120,000, provided by the borough’s carbon offset fund – money paid by developers to offset the emissions they generate while building. The council also wants to hear from Islington Community Energy Groups who are investment-ready.


Further information on the fund and application forms can be found at or by contacting the Islington Council energy advice team at