By George Harvey
Co-op Power is a grassroots member-owned co-operative focused on sustainable energy. By combining purchasing power of its members, it provides efficiencies of scale to make renewable power and products available inexpensively. It has a commitment to having a responsible presence in the community, based on economic and racial equality and a concern for the well-being of all, members and non-members alike.
The co-op is organized into regional Community Energy Co-ops. Most of these are in Massachusetts, in the Greater Boston area, Franklin County, and Hampshire County, Hampden County. One covers the area of the Blackstone River from Worcester, Massachusetts, down to Providence, Rhode Island. One covers southern Vermont. While most members are within these areas, membership is not exclusive to them, and there are some who live in New Hampshire, New York, and elsewhere.
Co-op Power provides discounts on a wide variety of products and services. The services include home efficiency assessments, and help with insulating and sealing. Products include discounted fuels, such as bio-diesel, heating oil, and propane; purchase and installation of a number of kinds of equipment, including heat pump water heaters, window treatments, and more. Co-op Power can help with installation of solar systems for homes and businesses.
There is a member-to-member program providing mutual help. The co-op also works with other co-ops and organizations. For example, Co-op Power installed the solar panels that are on the roof of the Brattleboro Food Co-op. Now, they are starting up a subsidiary, Northeast Biodiesel, which will provide renewable diesel fuel for members and, eventually, others as well.
Membership in Co-op Power is $950. The payments for membership can be made over time and there are discounts for people who qualify for them.
Co-op Power’s website is cooppower.coop.