Our origins go back to 20/02/2008 when the Muswell Hill and Fortis Green Association held a public meeting on Sustainability. Some of those attending gathered together afterwards under the chairmanship of Dr Alan Morton and called themselves the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group. On 13/08/08 the Group, which by then had a dozen members, adopted a constitution the main objects of which were to support and promote a more sustainable future, to raise awareness of climate change and to encourage people in Muswell Hill and surrounding areas to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.
Bidding for major programmes of work
In the summer of 2009 the group decided to work jointly with Haringey Council on a bid to the Mayor of London for a carbon reduction programme in N10 (the Muswell Hill Low Carbon Zone). In the autumn, following their spectacular success with this bid (there are only 10 other Low Carbon Zones within the M25) the Group Committee was encouraged to make a further joint funding bid. This time it was submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in response to the nationwide Low Carbon Communities Challenge. The bid was for £400,000 to carry out a programme of regeneration, by the installation of solar panels on schools and other large buildings in and around Muswell Hill, including Marks and Spencers on the Broadway. In December 2010 we heard that our bid was the only one to be accepted within the M25. Hurrah!
The creation of en10ergy limited
By this time the Group had decided on the formation of a community benefit society to handle the contracts and financial arrangements implicit in these two successful bids and on 30/10/09 en10ergy limited was registered with the Financial Services Authority. It has substantially the same environmental objectives as the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group and has the power to fund the Group activities. Four officers of the Group signed the application to register en10ergy as its founding members. They formed the Executive Board which has been carrying forward en10ergy’s projects.
The paths diverge
After that, the tracks of the Group and of en10ergy began to diverge. From January 2010 to April 2011 en10ergy was heavily engaged in installing arrays of solar panels on M&S and, after considering, surveying and rejecting a dozen other buildings, the Methodist Church in Pages Lane N10. By the time the work was done over 100 people had bought shares in en10ergy providing a working capital of over £5000. At the same time a co-ordinator of voluntary work in Muswell Hill, Kate Allardyce, was engaged by en10ergy with funding provided by the London Sustainability Exchange. Kate was appointed in September 2010 and has divided her time between co- ordinating efforts in the Low Carbon Zone (where the programme is well on its way to successful completion by March 2012) and supporting a growing number of initiatives by the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group
• The 100 Homes Study
• D-I-Y workshops on draught-proofing
• Setting up and administering the Low Carbon Buying group
• Holding regular meetings and presentations on PV panels, farm food boxes, cycling and other means of transport.
The main new challenge for 2012 onwards is Haringey Council’s commitment, jointly with participating groups, to reduce carbon emissions in Haringey by 40% by 2020 (the 40:20 initiative). En10ergy and the Muswell Hill Sustainability Group are pooling ideas and, to some extent resources, to make contributions towards a vast programme of regeneration and retro-fitting for which their past two years’ work will be of enormous practical benefit. There is a vast job still to be done, but we have keen members, enterprising officers and money in the bank. We are up for it!