Energyshare brings renewable power projects to the heart of communities

British Gas has launched a new green tariff giving households a vote on how millions of pounds of funding should help community renewable energy projects.

The new energyshare tariff will see customers getting the energy they use matched with electricity from 100% renewable British sources. For every year a customer stays with the tariff British Gas has pledged to plough £10 into the energyshare fund, which will be used to promote community renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Customers to vote on which projects get funding

Energyshare customers will then be able to vote on which projects they think should get the funding, which is hoped to contribute around £15 million to community energy initiatives over the next five years.

Just one part of the energyshare sheme

The tariff is just one part of the energyshare renewable energy scheme, founded by River Cottage and British Gas. It aims to change the way British people use energy by offering funding and practical advice on how local groups, businesses and individuals can use green and cheaper sources of energy.

Funding community energy projects

“When it comes to tackling climate change, we know that people want to do the right thing but, with household budgets stretched, do not want to pay extra for it,” said Gearóid Lane, Managing Director of British Gas New Markets.  “The energyshare tariff gives households a British renewable electricity tariff at no extra cost whilst funding local community energy projects.”

“We’re seeing a genuine groundswell of interest around the country from communities wanting to do their bit to tackle climate change – and their own fuel bills – by generating their own clean, green energy and reducing the amount of energy they use.”

Energyshare British Gas

Hundreds of renewable energy projects already registered

Some 400 community renewable energy projects have already been registered with energyshare, and it’s hoped that double that number will be registered by the end of 2011.

Bradford’s Peel Park BMX Racing Club is one such project. Energyshare funding has helped it buy solar panels to help power the club’s floodlights so evening racing can take place throughout the year. Any excess energy generated by the solar panels can also be sold back to the National Grid through the Feed-in Tariff scheme, earning the club will get almost £3,000 a year.

It’s another good example of how business and communities can work together to provide practical renewable energy solutions.