Hackney Council has announced that it is now fully powered by renewable electricity as its push to decarbonise the borough continues in the face of the challenges posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
From this week, 100 per cent of the council’s electricity will be sourced from wind and solar power.
The increase follows the installation of large rooftop solar panels on council buildings and the recent launch of the Green Homes programme, which will provide free insulation and a trial of renewable heating upgrades for residents.
These schemes are being delivered by the Town Hall’s new publicly owned energy company, Hackney Light and Power.
Mayor Philip Glanville said: “Even in the difficult times we are living through we must still take the long-term action we need to reduce our energy consumption and switch to cleaner energy.
“In our 2018 manifesto, we committed to transforming the way we generate, consume, and purchase our energy, and just two years later, we’ve become one of the first councils in the country to be completely powered by clean electricity, showing significant progress towards meeting our stretching targets of 45 per cent decarbonisation against 2010 levels by 2030, and net zero emissions by 2040.”
The council is aiming to install an additional 182 electric vehicle charging points this year, alongside a feasibility study into delivering chargers on every street in the borough, and has also committed to converting all street lamps to energy-efficient LED bulbs by 2022.
Energy boss Cllr Jon Burke said the Town Hall is “proud to be showing that work to tackle the climate emergency must continue, despite the challenges we face as a country at the moment”.
He added: “By committing to redirect our current spend on electricity of £6.5m per year towards overwhelmingly domestic energy supply, this decision not only means that the many Hackney schools who procure energy alongside the council are decarbonising, but also represents a vote of confidence in the UK renewables industry and the many high-skilled, secure jobs of the future it is creating.”