Lots of people want to convert their own homes to run on green energy, but for a variety of reasons, it just isn’t possible; maybe you can’t afford the initial investment costs, or your home isn’t suitable, or you can’t get planning permission, etc. For me, we can’t have solar panels because our home is a listed four-hundred-year-old farmhouse, for my daughter it’s because she rents a flat, so even if she had the funds to invest, she doesn't own anywhere to install them.
So, if we can't install a renewable energy source in our own home, what are the alternatives?
Switch to a green energy provider
The most obvious answer is to choose a green energy tariff. Most energy providers offer a green tariff, so it’s easy to switch without too much effort, but if you want to take it one step further away from fossil fuels, you can change to a green energy provider. These are typically smaller than the traditional energy suppliers, but offer 100% green electricity, these include (but are not limited to):
This was our starting point, but prompted by the recent energy price hikes, we have been looking at other options to both de-carbonise our energy use and get some degree of energy security.
Invest in green energy generation
The answer for us has been to invest some of our limited funds in Ripple Energy. Like most people we can’t actually buy our own wind turbine, but we can buy a share in a Ripple co-operatively owned wind farm.
The amount you can invest depends on your annual electricity consumption, with the maximum investment set at 120% of your annual usage. We couldn't afford to buy sufficient shares to cover the entire cost of our annual electricity consumption, but shares start at £25, so we’ve made a start, and as funds permit, we plan to invest more in the future. So, we are now the proud owners of (a small) part of a brand new wind farm, that'll soon supply our home with truly green electricity.
You can find out more about the Ripple Energy share scheme here.