Bulb hero: Debbie Mitchener, Wilton Estate community energy project

 
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Bulb hero: Debbie Mitchener, leader of the Wilton Estate community energy project

Debbie is a Bulb hero. She’s a passionate resident of the Wilton Estate in Dalston, London and works to improve the lives of everyone there. Currently she’s working out how to use solar energy to reduce household bills on the estate. As you can probably guess, we’re big fans of anyone who works to make things cheaper as well as greener!

Debbie chairs the resident association for Wilton Estate, which does a lot for the people living there. Debbie and her team run a range of activities on the estate for all ages, like craft classes or film club. And then there’s the community garden. This space is usable by all on the estate and is a place to grow food, as well as being a habitat for local wildlife. This year, 2122 volunteer hours were spent on improving the garden. And the discovery of stag beetles and rare moths, as well as Jays and bats means they must be doing something right. So, Debbie has a lot on her plate. But she didn't stop there.

This year, joining forces with Hackney Energy, Debbie kicked off a plan to use the flat roof space on the estate to install a solar array of approximately 50 Kilowatts. Along with a set of batteries, the plan is to generate and store enough energy to provide nighttime lighting for communal spaces, stairwells and the community centre. As well as wanting to support green generation, Debbie plans to help reduce household energy bills for residents. As she says, “in a time when every penny counts, even a few pounds a week over a year can make a huge difference. Reducing everybody's communal electricity charge is a solid goal for us.”

We wish Debbie luck with the bid to the Mayor of London’s Community Energy Fund. And beyond energy, there’s more planned for Wilton Estate in 2018. For a start, the orchard is set to expand with new fruit trees ready to be planted, including Mulberry trees. Another busy year for Debbie, then!


This festive season we are celebrating 10 Bulb heroes - a collection of people we think are doing a world of good. Watch out for a new hero every day and learn more about how they are working to make the world a better place. SEE yesterday’s hero Dan who built a boat entirely out of recycled material here.

Clementine Hobson