Image credit: Solarphilip
From community-owned wind power to harnessing peer pressure for environmental change, there's a lot to be said for stepping beyond our own environmental footprints and seeing what we can tackle as a broader community. That's why one resident in Marlow, England, decided not just to install solar on his roof, but to convince 100 neighbors to do the same. The resulting project is hitting the airwaves around the world. Convinced that it is up to all of us to take responsibility for climate change, Philip Ditchfield decided to do something about it. While tackling his own footprint through energy saving, and producing renewable energy, was attractive—Ditchfield decided to emply the power of numbers to have a bigger impact. By convincing 100 of his neighbors to also install solar, he figured, he could create a new sense of shared identity and pride around the idea of a low carbon, solar community.
He has now set up Solar 100, a buyers club for residents of Marlow, offering homeowners reduced rates and shared expertise so they can make the most of their investment in solar, and even get a 12% discount. It seems to be paying off. 30 households already generate electricity through solar panels, and 185 are signed up for the scheme. With the UK Government's feed-in tariffs offering a healthy rate of return, interest is only likely to climb further.
Better yet, the project is raising awareness on a national and even international scale too. Ditchfield was profiled for his work on Solar 100 in the Observer newspaper recently, and the report below comes from Al Jazeera English.
Now this is clearly one man who understands the difference between footprints and leverage.
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