Of course it’s wonderful when you’re able to live off-grid in a Tiny House, and generate and store your own energy. I think it might be the best way to become aware of your own energy consumption. And changing your consumption pattern starts with awareness. But, not everyone has the ability to live like I do. Is there another way to contribute to energy transition and to a healthier planet? Yes, there is. How about getting your green energy from your neighbors, friends or family!
We really need to get a move on with energy transition in the Netherlands; we’re way behind compared to other countries in Europe. And yet we have everything we need to shift entirely to renewable energy: the means and the knowledge, now all we need is the will. It’s already been proven that shifting to renewable energy creates more jobs, not less. If we want to reach a 50% reduction of carbon dioxide output by 2030 as stated in the Paris Agreement, there’s some major work to be done. We, as consumers, play an important role. We can contribute by choosing clean, local energy sources.
Maybe not all of us have suitable roofs for solar panels. You may be living in an apartment, or your roof gets too much shade, making solar panels not profitable. Nevertheless, you can choose a green energy provider. The array of green options for this is growing, and there’s more attention paid to initiatives that produce and provide local energy.
There are several providers of green energy. Recently this list has been extended by a new party, Powerpeers. What I like about Powerpeers is that you can choose from whom you buy your energy, which could be a private person with solar panels on their roof. In the summer, my panels lay idle half of the time. My batteries are full, the panels are shut down – the power has nowhere to go. For people who are connected to the electricity grid, the surplus of generated energy can go back to the grid, so others can use their surplus energy. With Powerpeers, you can see who is able to provide energy – their names are visible. This way you can choose to buy your energy from Joe, your next door neighbor, as it were. This makes it more personal and more local, and I like it.
Sometimes Joe is using a lot of his energy at the same time that you need lots of it. No problem, you can select multiple suppliers with Powerpeers. And when you need energy, they automatically check which provider can supply the energy you need at that exact moment. And when Joe is spending the day at the beach, you can use all his energy. So that’s energy for two! Of course you can sign up if you do have solar panels as well. You’ll also be needing a smart meter for that. This way you can share your energy with family and friends. How cool is that!
Apart from choosing for locally-produced clean energy, there are many more things you can do to take good care of our beautiful planet. Many of those things are surprisingly easy! Transferring to a bank that only invests in sustainable companies, for example. Have one or more meatless day a week (really, that’s a big help!). Stop using plastic disposables and get yourself a reusable, foldable carrier bag to keep in your handbag all the time, and put bamboo cutlery in there as well. There are many blogs available containing an endless amount of tips, and with a little help from Google you can find them (almost) all. Seriously, you don’t have to become a vegan tomorrow of start wearing hemp underwear (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course). But make a start. Make a small start. Choosing a real green energy supplier is a very good one.
This article has been written in cooperation with Powerpeers.