Sunday, May 22, 2011

UK Phone Coop et al

A BIG WELCOME to any and all viewers.  After all, once we get beyond the profit motive to responsible accounting, friendship is what we've got, you, me, and them.
         What follows are some excerpts from information about a UK Baywind Co-op project, the UK Co-operative Party, a US Maryland Solar Co-op, and a US solar project involving an Electric Co-op.  All the excellent social and ecological economic theory of E.F. Schumacher, Herman Daly, David Ellerman, and so many others is only in its full context when real world examples are referred to.

Phone Co-op values
The Phone Co-op is the fastest growing consumer co-operative in the country and now has over 13,000 customers. This is because they give their customers what they want: a low cost service, backed up by ethical, green values your values.

As well as using recycled stationery and power from renewables throughout the business, they offset their CO2 emissions resulting from the connecting of their customers phone calls. 75% of the mileage covered on business trips last year was by less environmentally damaging forms of transport such as train and bus.

The Co-operative Party is the Party of social justice.
We believe that people will achieve more by working together than they can by working alone. We support the efforts of those who seek success through that co-operative endeavour.
We believe that the only way to create a just and fair society is through power being spread evenly throughout society, and not arbitrarily based on wealth, class, gender or race.
We work to promote co-operatives and all forms of mutual organisation….
Ethical values and a deep sense of social and environmental responsibilities are reflected in the way they conduct their business. The consumer co-ops pioneered the concept of responsible retailing and have always campaigned for greater consumer protection. Today co-ops champion fair-trade products and offer a solution in the fight against exploitative labour practices, among other projects. 
We are an association of 50-plus homes in the Mt. Pleasant community of the District of
Columbia. We are committed to deploying solar systems on each of our respective homes. The
systems we propose to install range in capacity from 2 to 3 KWs, enough on average to power
30% of our annual electric needs. Our membership is inclusive, running the gamut of age,
income and ethnicity. In this respect we are representative of the city as a whole. Our aim is to
reach out to all our neighbors in Mt. Pleasant. At the very least, with the right incentives, we
anticipate being able to have solar installed on 100 homes in our community in short order.
Concerns about the environment, potential power shortages in the near future, and escalating electricity prices are driving us to install solar.
In an effort to renew their commitment to environmental sustainability and energy conservation, SMCPS entered into a 15 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Perpetual Standard Solar, enabling SMCPS to host the solar installations without any capital outlay. The PPA will provide SMCPS a projected 30 percent offset of their current electricity consumption. Perpetual Standard Solar partnered with Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative Inc. (SMECO) to purchase the solar renewable energy credits (SRECS), contributing to the project’s financing.

“As more and more solar projects are developed, SMECO customer-members will benefit from locally produced power that helps the Co-op meet its goal of investing in renewable energy. These types of projects fit with our portfolio of environmentally friendly energy products, and they provide alternatives to traditional energy supply,” said Sonja Cox, SMECO’s CFO and Senior Vice President of Financial, Economic, and Employee Services. “We are enthusiastic about working with St. Mary’s County Public Schools and Standard Solar on the George Washington Carver Elementary School project, which is the largest solar project on the Co-op’s system to date.”

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