Thursday 9 November 2017

As fuel poverty increases the lifeline Energy Solutions closes

Planet House bathed in Autumn sunshine
Brent Council has confirmed that Energy Solutions, based at Planet House in Birchen Grove, Kingsbury has closed. The Council cuts its £50,000 grant in 2015 despite it having saved its clients in excess of £717,000 in disputed or refunded gas and electricity bills, trust fund applications and ECO funded affordable warmth measures (heating and insulation) since 2012 and contributing to the borough's carbon reduction programme.

I made the case for the continuation of the grant in January 2015 but to no avail. LINK

The charity soldiered on seeking alternative funding and curtailing its activities but finally appears to have decided it couldn't go on, much to the loss of the local hard-pressed community.

 Energy Solutions was based at the end of Birchen Grove in a building that was constructed as a chapel for the lawn cemetery which had been planned in the 1930s but never materialised. I understand that the surrounding area, which includes the Welsh Harp Environmental Education Centre (taken over by Thames21 after it too lost its grant) and allotments is still consecrated ground.

A Brent Spokesperson said today, 'Energy Solutions is unfortunately closing down. Brent Council is planning to market Planet House on a leasehold basis.'

Here is a reminder of  Energy Solutions' valuable work. I am sure that readers will join me in thanking the staff for all that they did for the community.



Alison Hopkins said...

They were excellent. Enabled me to get a local resident a new cooker when hers died the death. As you say, short sighted.

That £50K grant is a sixth of what it's costing to bid as borough of culture and a fifth of what the Mayor costs, of course.

Anonymous said...

Well said Alison.
It shows that this current Brent Council has it's priorities in completely the wrong places.