There is small forgotten sign on the corner of Bligth and Lygon streets in Brunswick, Melbourne that advertises the ‘Brunswick Electricity Company’. I’ve never been able to get a great photo of it (so if you have one I would love a copy!). The sign has always made me smile because it reminds me of a time long past when a decentralised system was the norm, small was beautiful, and livestock was probably still kept on suburban allotments allowed to be herded along the banks of the Merri Creek.
I like the idea that each suburb might have their own energy company whether it be food or electricity. There is so much potential to co-locate energy supply and people, even when density is high, it little wonder why these two basic necessities (food and electricity) are so removed from us, the users.
So while there is much hype, song and dance (and amazing competitions!) around bringing food back to where people live to reconnect them with the basic energy system, much rumbling has been happening around energy, albeit a bit more quietly.
Energy for the People is one such company that is applying imagination, skills and experience to deliver clean energy and energy efficiency projects, and to challenge the current energy market status quo. Their mission is to enable the rapid transition to a citizen-powered clean energy market.
Impressive huh? and one particularly radical project they recently launched is The People’s Solar, a community centred initiative to crowd fund solar panels to benefit the entire community. Solar panels are installed on the roofs of child cares, schools, community buildings, aged care facilities, and more – and the savings gained from the solar panels are then invested into the community, which could include small projects bike parking and raised garden beds on foot paths, right up to training and mentoring programs for those in need. Inspiring stuff.
What’s more inspiring is that Energy for the People want to support the Reclaim the Curb competition with a whooping $1250 to go towards our growing cash prize, giving us a nice, round $500 cash prize for each competition winner.
Thank you Energy for the People, and looking forward to seeing a more citizen-powered energy market soon!