Power Station

by Optimistic Foundation CIC in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Total raised £115,909

raised so far

1261

supporters

To create a renewable power station across the rooftops of our East London streets, and then outward from there.

by Optimistic Foundation CIC in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 22nd December 2022 we'd raised £111,456 with 1202 supporters in 35 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 New stretch target

Thanks to everyone already supporting the POWER STATION we have the money to do phase 1 of the street  - installing solar on the 35 houses already surveyed. But...even whilst this crowdfunder has been running more houses want to join and more streets take action. Our team is growing to enable us to be able to trigger this action through making workshops and sharing information for 'street by street' action. We have been building this shared knowledge and constantly sharing it on our membership site and this needs to develop with plans for how to collaborate with larger organising groups and  make it easy for  'street champions' to act. We are working with Solar for Schools on 5 local schools and are attempting to start collaboration with other community energy experts on local community buildings and social housing. This is a show and do project of research in action and this research and action takes time and money.  We are filming and editing daily episodes to share in the membership site and Youtube channel whilst building our feature documentary film POWER which will become the centre of an impact campaign to inspire and trigger other communities to act and attempt to influence national policy. This is a multilayered project needing editors, sound editors, musicians, workshop editors, accountants, book - keepers, camera people etc - not to mention software, web costs etc and we need to sustain this momentum to ensure the street really is a template for bigger action.


Do you ever feel disempowered, angry and frankly depressed by all that's happening in contemporary UK politics?

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Do you want to be part of building an alternative but maybe don't know where to start?

We believe we can all make a difference, but only when we come together. 

We got tired of waiting for the government to take action and responsibility for the crisis-threatening life itself.. and the bills shooting up! 

We’ve seen the energy markets going crazy. 27% and rising of people in our own borough of London (Waltham Forest) are in “energy poverty” and the charity Energy Action predicts that 50% of the UK population will be in "fuel poverty" by the end of the year!

Like a lot of people, we were hoping that there would be a turning point, a political sea change but actually, many of the people working for a just world are either ignored by the political establishment or laughed off the TV talk shows they're invited on to "explain themselves." 

That’s what caused us to just say to ourselves...

 “If not us, then who? And if not now, then when?” 


We decided we would set about building a renewable Power Station on our street and follow the advice and ideas set out by economist and author Ann Pettifor and the Green New Deal group. 

“Every Building a Power Station.” 

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No real knowledge of renewable energy or retrofit led to a deep dive into meeting and working with those who have it. We invite others on the learning journey with us in the POWER membership site developing a street by street action plan.

Let’s get solar panels onto every house of one London street – and then when we’ve done that, let’s insulate all the houses that want to be in on it...

And let’s declare ourselves as a sort of mini-government - the type of government we would want, if we had a genuine choice...

A government of artists and visionaries rather than the corrupt types who currently rule over us with such stupidity. 

And if we can do it – then why can’t the real government? And if the “real government” really wanted to protect the citizens it’s supposed to be serving, wouldn’t it be doing this very thing?

After all, when you start to bulk-buy solar panels, the cost falls massively from the retail price. We've got a deal with our supplier that's 50% cheaper for doing this in bulk.

We have done some calculations -  

There are 22,260,856 houses in the UK. Installing solar panels on every house in the UK would provide 60.52% of our total domestic electricity consumption. Between April and September, solar generation would exceed all domestic electricity consumption.

How much would it cost to fit every house in the UK with solar panels? 

The average retail price including VAT for a 3.16kW system is around £6000. £6000 x 22,260,856 = £133.56bn. Or roughly 3.59 track and trace systems. 

Meeting a significant amount of our electricity needs with cheaper domestic energy production would reduce our reliance on international energy markets, which can be volatile and raise prices significantly for consumers. 

A track record of surreal action and social impact

Does this all sound a bit Utopian? Do we sound like crackpots? Find out for yourselves by watching our feature documentary Bank Job for free by clicking the link below - then when you're done - if you'd like to support our Crowdfunder Campaign, please just come back here and do so! 

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What we've achieved so far..

We launched our project a year and a half ago in deepest lockdown, after having completed our Grierson nominated/ BFI backed feature documentary called Bank Job in which we bought up and then blew up £1.2m of high-interest debt – we are making this film and membership available to everyone on a free tier all you have to do is go to membership.power.film/enrol if you’d like to see it. 

We set up a membership site (currently 300 members paying monthly or annually and another approx 14500 with totally free membership) to share all our research with anyone and everyone and produce workshops on turning streets and schools into Power Stations.

Because - as with Bank Job, our aim is not just to transform our street into a Power Station – but also to make a feature documentary showing the process and sharing the story. According to one of our interviewees, Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity – we import £50b a year of fossil fuels into the UK – just to burn them. For just two years of that budget, we could be powering the entire UK with renewable energy. There's no getting around this statistic. It's just crazy. Imagine multiplying that absurdity by every country in the world!

In this public work of art and action we share the trials and tribulations of building the POWER STATION as both proof of people power and rallying cry. We film everything -  highlighting and working through the complexities of taking action in the climate emergency - telling the stories of extractive processes, inequalities and injustice whilst attempting to tackle these as best we can on the ground. 

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A ROOF UNDER OUR HEADS 

We decided to live on the roof of our house in East London through November and December until we raised £100,000.

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We have surveyed about 35 houses on the street and of those 31 seem to be viable propositions for panels. We have collated on spreadsheets the amount our neighbours can afford to put in, and to do this comfortably we needed to raise another £100,000. 

Donations of up to £250 will be match-funded up to a £50,000 total from Aviva and we want to make the most of this. The project does not end with this first step and if we are going to ensure this moves to street by street action there is much more work to be done! Our time on the roof saw more people wanting surveys and more streets wanting to act. Our team is growing and working non stop. We have more energy efficiency surveying to do, we need to develop our 'street by street' workshop/toolkit, we need to continue to film and then move into post production on the feature documentary film that tracks this story of people powered POWER STATIONS and will become the centre of an impact distribution plan to trigger further action. 

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We are also offering on here the van which we blew up at the climax of our last film. Right now this van is at the heart of an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge called 'Defaced: Money, Conflict, Power.'

Thanks for reading this far down! 

Read Hilary's Rooftop Journal

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Rewards

This project offered rewards

£20 or more

£20 - Postcard from the edge (of the roof)

A shout-out on our Youtube Channel - at the end of our next video A postcard from the edge (of the roof) sent out to you.

£50 or more

£50 - Postcards from the edge (of the roof)

A shout out on our Youtube channel - at the end of the next video. A book of 6 x assorted postcards from the edge (of the roof) sent out to you.

£100 or more

£100 - November Nebula

A shout out on our Youtube channel - at the end of our next video. A book of 6 x assorted postcards from the edge (of the roof) sent out to you. A thank you in the credits of the POWER feature documentary film.

£250 or more

£250 - Suburban Stars

A shout out on our Youtube channel - at the end of the next video. A book of 6 x assorted postcards from the edge (of our roof) sent out to you. A thank you in the credits of the POWER feature documentary film. An unframed A3 print - 'A Roof Under Our Heads.'

£500 or more

£500 - Solar Flare

A shout out on our Youtube channel - at the end of next video. A book of 6 x assorted postcards from the edge (of the roof) sent to you. A thank you in the credits of the POWER feature documentary film. An unframed A3 print 'A Roof Under Our Heads.' A unframed A2 Big Bang 2 explosion print.

£1,000 or more

£1000 - Cosmic Poppins

A shout out on our Youtube channel - at the end of the next video. A book of 6 x postcards from the edge (of the roof) sent to you. A thank you in the credits of the POWER feature documentary film. Unframed A3 Ltd edition print 'A Roof Under Our Heads.' Unframed A2 ltd edition Big Bang 2 explosion print.

£5,000 or more

£5000 - Stargazer

Come and meet us on the roof and have your photo taken and ltd edition print made of this image for you. + Executive producer credits in the POWER feature documentary film.

£11,802 or more

£11,802 - Constellation

The full framed set of the currency we have printed - the 'greenbacks' featuring a constellation of organisations working for a just world.

£120,000 or more

£120,000 - Big Bang 2

The sculpture / installation - Big Bang 2 - currently on display in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge until Jan 8 2023.

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