Solar skills for South London

One of the main aims of Brixton Energy is to develop in the community the skills we will need to make a cleaner, better future. Kevin, a Loughborough Estate resident, got involved in the project and helped Southern Solar when they installed the solar panels on the roof of Elmore House. Here is his story:

Aga, Afsheen and me

It seems the Gods of clean energy were shining on us that week.

Imagine been on the roof of a tall block of flats, the sun shining, with a great view of London, breathtaking is what I call it.

It was a very rewarding experience, working with a great bunch of guys (Big up Matt and the boys from Southern Solar).

Do something you enjoy doing and you won’t have to work a day in your life, says the old Chinese proverb and that’s what it seemed like to me. Although we were actually installing the solar panels for me it was just having fun. The hard graft was inconsequential. It was more like a solar farm, planting solar seeds and watching them come to fruition within a week.

Absolutely amazing!!!

Brixton Energy Solar1 team members visiting, seeing how the installation was progressing.

Residents enquiring, what was going on, on the roof of their block?

Installers and Brixton Energy team members explaining the concept and rewards of solar power.

Damn! It felt good! Was buzzing for a week! No kidding.

With me living on the estate, it couldn’t have been a better job for me! Walking 100 meters to work! Going home for lunch! How’s that for a Job! I even manage to walk over to my place and let some workmen in.(there were no sorry we miss me note that time).

A roof with a view

Then came launching day and the hoopla, I mean media circus and all, newspapers, TV stations, Radio stations, Budding journalists……the interviews the cameras, the spotlight…. Makes me think “We could be on to something here”.

Massive respect  the entire Brixton Energy team, including to Agamemnon & to Kevin who did these ITV interviews!

and to Southern Solar Ltd who provided the panels & design

Biggin’ up Afsheen Rashid too, who did this interview for BBC Radio London.

So with the help of the Brixton Energy Solar1 team and the wider Brixton public we aim to move forward.

When my friends and associates says to me “Yo Kev! we seen you on TV”, I’m like “Yeah, you wanna  be seen, you gotta go green”.

Once again thanks to all the Brixton Energy Solar1 team members, members of the public and wellwishers for making happen.

Check out what’s happening @  http://brixtonenergy.co.uk/blog

It’s “Move yo Money Month” I know where I am putting mine!

My name is Jason, I’m a 35 year old software developer. I have lived in Brixton for the last nine years and love the area. I have just invested in the Brixton Energy scheme and want to tell you why – in the hope that you will too.

My previous attempt at an ethical investment

About seven years ago I had some spare money to invest and put it in an ecological stock market investment fund. I wanted to know my capital was being used for causes I believed in and to help build a sustainable future. Naturally enough, I also wanted to make a few quid! How did the fund worked out? Well as everybody knows the stock market went down the toilet. Over the last seven years my investment hasn’t even kept up with inflation.

"We all know what happened with the stock market"

A nagging feeling from the very beginning was that a sizeable chunk of my money went to pay the fund managers salary. I doubt they were bad people but given what we have learnt about stock market excess and bonuses. I can’t help but feel that some of my hard earned money was squandered on Champagne, cigars and class As. It felt like I was investing my money in a broken financial system that contributes to inequality and environmental destruction.

Plus I was totally disconnected from my investment. As it was an ecological fund at least I knew my money had not been given to Lockheed Martin or British Tobacco but a company like East Japan Railway doesn’t pop up much in my day to day life.

Why I am investing in Brixton Energy

  1. This is a real way to be part of a real change for the environment. Like lots of people a couple of years ago I did lots of small things around my flat, like change light bulbs and recycling. I was left feeling a bit apathetic after that. What to do next? Brixton energy is the first scheme I have seen where I feel we can take action to tackle climate change.
  2. I believe solar power is a technology that will create a cleaner better world. I would love to put solar panels on the roof of my flat but I don’t own my flat so I can’t.
  3. I want to invest in a local scheme that I can be a part of, where every investor gets a vote.
  4. I will know everytime I walk past Loughborough Estate I will have made a difference to my local community.
  5. It is not just about solar power. The profits from the scheme will help promote energy efficiency in the area ensuring the energy we generate isn’t wasted.

What I’m doing and what I hope you will do too

So this week I closed my ecological stock market investment fund. I’m going to invest my money in Brixton Energy instead. If you are thinking about investing in an ISA or an ethical investment fund or have some money lying around please ask yourself whether Brixton Energy would be a more rewarding place to invest your money.

letter of renunciation

Becoming a Shareholder – tales from our investors.

As the Brixton Energy Solar 1 Share Offer opened last week, people in the community began stepping forward to purchase shares. This week we embarked on sharing their personal stories with you. The first investing experience was from  south London resident Susan Sheehan.

“There has been a real buzz around the office this week about the Brixton Energy share issue. Personally handing over the money and the form for my shares was strangely emotional. I have never owned shares before and it is not something I would have ever considered.

The real bonus though is that this feels completely right. I have been pondering solar panels on my own house for several years and I simply don’t have the right roof. It would also cost me a lot more money than I have put into Brixton Energy – the minimum investment is just £250. I would have to spend 40 times that to get any meaningful amount of solar panels on my house.

I have also raised money in my community to put solar panels on the school roof – and although I have an enormous sense of pride about that I don’t actually have much of a connection with them any more – they just sit there. I don’t know how they are performing, how much carbon they are offsetting… nothing. They just look nice.

I feel excited that this is just the beginning – setting up this project has been extremely complex – the real value comes from getting this one done and being able to move quickly on to the next.. Perhaps more solar panels for my local school’s roof.”  warm regards, Sue

If you have invested  and would like to share your story we at Brixton Energy  would enjoy hearing about it.

Sincerely, Team Brixton Energy