Do you feel good about where the energy you use comes from and who profits from it?
Thanks to Low Carbon Hub, more and more people in Oxfordshire, UK do. Partnering with local schools, businesses and community groups, Low Carbon Hub turns unused roof-space, fields and locks into renewable energy power stations. They do this at no cost to their partners – they raise money for their installations through community share offers. “These investments fund the upfront costs of the projects and help make them happen. They also put ownership of local renewable energy generation in the hands of local people and keep revenues, jobs and community benefit funds circulating in the local economy.”
Moreover, as a “social developer,” Low Carbon Hub believes it’s important not only to scale up renewable energy generation, but to scale down energy demand. They reinvest their surpluses in what they call “community benefit activities” like fuel poverty alleviation and energy efficiency projects.
Low Carbon Hub also serves as “a hub, a helpdesk, and a mentor,” offering practical and financial support to local community groups that want to set up their own community-owned, renewable energy projects. Their goal is “for the whole of Oxfordshire to be powered by an interconnected series of smart micro grids centred around multiple small scale, community- controlled renewable energy schemes.”
Decreasing our dependence on big energy companies can seem a daunting task. But as Low Carbon Hub proclaims in their Manifesto: “A much better energy system is possible, in Oxfordshire and the rest of the UK: a decentralised energy system based on a combination of community-owned renewable energy supply and very low energy demand.” Low Carbon Hub certainly makes it seem possible in Oxfordshire – we hope their initiative can go further to inspire similar projects the world over.