Stephen and Nic Healer from Manchester have bought shares in the Graig Fatha wind farm in Wales, which is run by Ripple Energy. They receive money from their energy bills for the lower costs of producing the energy on the farm, compared to the market price of electricity.
The couple signed up to the scheme in their efforts to be as sustainable as possible in their energy use, helping them move away from gas.
The Healers bought shares for just under £2,000 and this year are expected to save £297 at set price, with savings of £4,200 over the turbine’s 25-year life.
Your savings for this year are based on a savings rate of 9.46p per kWh, with an estimated rate over 25 years of 5.30p per kWh.
Stephen said: “It’s a huge help, and we signed up at a good time when Graig Fatha came online when electricity prices started to shoot up a bit.
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“But I really see the value in it, and as my electricity usage has increased as our family has grown since we first signed up (and added an electric car), I’ve bought more from Ripple as I can see the benefit what does it mean. give back.”
They initially bought shares in the Graig Fatha farm and have since bought shares in Ripple’s second project, Kirk Hill in Scotland.
The savings are added as a credit to a person’s electricity bill, based on how much their participation in the wind farm generated the previous month.
They decided to gradually increase ownership of the wind farm as their energy consumption increased, and now own 1,100 watts through their shares, which are expected to generate 3,085 kWh annually.
Stephen said it was easy to sign up for the project: “The process was easy, just fill in a few questions like signing up for anything.
“Obviously, you also want to know how much electricity you want Ripple to cover as well, but they help make it easier.”
More than 900 people across the UK have joined the scheme, and people must invest at least £25 in shares to sign up.
The strong winds during October generated about 671 MWh of energy, and some shareholders saw their energy bill reduced by almost half.
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A person can keep their shares when they move house so that someone can register even if they rent out their property.
Stephen said of the scheme: “It definitely has a lot of potential. One of the reasons I signed up in the first place was that it can be used by ordinary people to take advantage of the wind turbines that are being built, and as prices have gone up it’s been a good buffer for that
“I think Graig Fatha has shown that it can work, and I hope that other people will see the benefit and that this can be widely replicated.”
Families signed up to the scheme are saving an average of £160 per household and together have saved more than £100,000 on their electricity bills.
There have been reports that the Government will offer grants of £15,000 to help make homes more energy efficient.
Business Secretary Grant Shapps will soon announce a £1 billion fund to help Britons pay for energy-efficient appliances and infrastructure in their homes.
Loft insulation can save families £640 a year, covering the full cost of the installation over a two-year period.
Families may also want to consider thermostatic valves and advanced thermostats, which can reduce energy costs by £525 a year.
However, these smart heating controls can cost up to £800 to install, so additional financial support and grants could be of great help to low-income families.