What can I do locally to help tackle climate change … NOW?
You’ve probably heard the numerous announcements recently saying who needs to do what about climate change by 2050, 2030 or even sooner. Some people don’t believe them, some get very depressed about it, a few are making positive lifestyle changes but … most of us are just too busy living life and making ends meet – whilst looking out for our family and friends.
So you might not be able to solve the world’s biggest challenge! … but you might be thinking ‘What can I do locally right now?’. It would need to be something worthwhile, preferably that doesn’t take up my time but will really help make a difference.
It needs to be something that I can be proud of – especially when the younger generations ask me ‘What did you do about the climate emergency?’. It would be even better if it also helps others in the local community.
One option you might consider could be to engage with us at Harborough Energy, a local not for profit cooperative that has more than doubled in size in the past year. We were founded in 2014 to develop community owned energy and help tackle fuel poverty in and around the Harborough area. We recently held the fourth Annual General Meeting for Harborough Solar One which was kindly hosted by the Angel Hotel, Market Harborough.
The meeting was well attended by our members who heard from the volunteer Directors about last year’s formal accounts for Harborough Solar One, which is a Community Benefit Society registered as a mutual with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
We covered the performance of the two solar PV projects which are already operating in Corby, Harborough and Husbands Bosworth. Finally, there was a lively discussion about how we were operating, the planned interest payments to the members of 5% and 4% on the two projects (as projected) plus the technologies and future projects that we are considering.
At the July year end, our 170kW of community owned solar PV had produced 224,000 kWh of clean energy since installation started in August 2016 – saving 100 Tonnes of CO2 emissions. It has also provided significant savings on energy costs for Woodnewton School, Archway Health hub and NBJ joinery business that host them.
In the longer term, the two projects are also forecast to provide a community benefit fund of around £60k over their 20 year life. Over the same period, we will return the investors’ capital whilst paying them the available interest.
We were also pleased to tell the group about Harborough Energy’s ongoing work with Harborough District Council and other local councils to facilitate their Warm Homes Schemes (via carefully selected installers). This has helped the Harborough area to rank highly in the UK government’s Household Energy Efficiency Measures which tackle fuel poverty by giving local residents access to free Loft and Cavity Insulation.
So if you are looking for a way to make a real impact on climate change and want to help tackle local fuel poverty – why not get in touch with us via [email protected] – NOW!