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Off-Grid, Online – Community Action Northumberland

Community Action Northumberland are working with a number of off-electricity grid households to identify sustainable reliable energy sources for the future. We have set up an off-grid task force who meet regularly to look at sustainable options including grid connection, wind, solar and hydro.   Members of the task force include Northumberland County Council, Local Enterprise Partnership, The National Park and Northern Powergrid.

Many of these households currently use diesel generators, which are unreliable, expensive have a high carbon footprint.  They generate approximately 4 hours of energy per day, not enough to run an electric kettle, hairdryer, automatic washing machine and many other essentials we all take for granted.

Children in the off-grid households normally complete their schoolwork within the school building after school hours but as the schools have closed down during lockdown this is not possible.  Through our project we have been able to provide tablets, dongles and hi-tech solar chargers to 20 children from off-grid households living in Northumberland National Park.

The project is making a dramatic difference to the lives of these young people and their parents, enabling the children to not only continue their homework from home but home schooling has now become possible.  Online socialising with friends and relatives is now possible, providing much needed contact as many of these properties are geographically isolated.