ZEN: Zero Emissions Neighbourhood for Southwark
ZEN is a community led project from SEA, which aims to encourage neighbourhoods in various EU states to eliminate pollution produced as a result of energy use in domestic and non-domestic buildings. Homes in Southwark account for more than half of the energy used and CO2 emissions produced in the borough.
We aim to tackle this by using energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar to create a Zero Emission Neighbourhood in the Elephant and Castle Regeneration area.
We were responsible for the production of a Neighbourhood Energy Plan and an Energy Model, which aims to help community groups assess the effectiveness of different sustainable energy strategies they are interested in implementing in the area. The Neighbourhood Energy Plan sets out targets:
- to reduce pollution caused by energy used in domestic properties
- to describe the appropriate means of achieving this reduction
- identify ways to encourage local authorities, tenants, private householders and businesses to use energy efficient technologies and renewable sources of power
- identify ways of obtaining grants and loans for cleaner energy services
- how to engage the local community and authorities in ongoing dialogues about sustainability and energy use.
The focus groups found that urban planning which could help deliver a sense of community received the most positive reaction. Combined heat and power systems linked to a district heating grid are highly compatible with this community ethic and were found to be very well-received.
The findings of the focus group were instrumental in our approach to the Concerto project on the Aylesbury Estate. This project will involve the creation of a biogas plant which will recycle kitchen waste from the estate as well as deliver local employment and cheaper fuel bills. The biogas plant will be part of our Environmental Futures Centre, an education and workshop facility sited just south of the Aylesbury Estate which will serve the residents of the Elephant & Castle area too.
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