The Internet has brought about a lot of strange changes to our sense of community. We’re still too deep in the thick of change to readily evaluate how the Internet has changed community in any measurable sense, but observations can be made. Mom and pop shops are closing down. Fewer Millennials are religious, and religion has long been a bastion of community involvement. This isn’t to say that communities don’t exist anymore, but a lot of communal activity has been relegated to the digital space. This is both wonderful, because of our ability to connect with people we’ve never met, and problematic, because it may disincentivize local action.
Local action can slow climate change. From cities encouraging active transportation and recycling to buying local in order to reduce the carbon costs of transporting goods, we can act communally in order to reduce our emissions. Germany is one country that has used community involvement to produce tangible changes to their energy economy. They use energy cooperatives, literally groups of citizens concerned about climate change, in order to purchase, collectively, solar projects to provide energy for communities. Winnipeg is an extremely sunny city; why shouldn’t we try the same thing here?
Here’s what we propose: get out in your community and gauge interest for a solar project. The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out what area you want to supply with solar power. Once that’s done, contact PowerTec Solar; we’re a solar panels installer with a lot of expertise, and we’ll help you get all the information you need about the project. We can help you find a number of locations where a small solar farm might be installed around your neighborhood, and give you an idea about how much the project would cost, as well as how much energy would be produced and how long it would take the average person to recoup the cost of installation.
Once you have all of this information, you can literally go door-to-door and propose the project to your neighbors. There’s no reason you can’t take advantage of social media, too; create a neighborhood group, post about your proposed project, and tell your friends to do the same in their neighborhoods. When people are on board for the project, it’s a good idea to have them contribute to an ongoing fund with the savings they get from the solar power produced in order to cover repairs.
There’s a lot of great reasons to engage in these community projects: you get closer to your neighbors, you help reduce climate change, and you save money over time. One of the best reasons for this particular project is it’s longevity; anytime someone moves into a house being supplied with solar power, they can join the fund in order to access the solar energy. They’ll save a lot more money on power than the costs of maintenance, and you’ll continue to reduce carbon emissions – the project is innately future-proofed when properly deployed.
Some of you may be wondering whether or not solar panels as a means of carbon reduction is useful in Manitoba, where almost all of our electricity is hydroelectric; it is. When Manitoba Hydro has an excess of electricity, it sells the rest to places that use electricity generated by fossil fuels, which reduces carbon emissions. You’ll save money, you’ll build community, and you’ll save the planet; dive into solar!