ripple energy review

RIPPLE ENERGY REVIEW

Ripple Energy enables you to buy part of a wind farm to power your home. It’s quite a straightforward idea. You invest a set amount of money with Ripple Energy to join a wind farm co-operative. Ripple acts as a facilitator setting up the wind farm co-op and deals with everything from the construction to the maintenance of the wind farm. Ripple has everything covered but they don’t own the wind farm. You own the wind farm along with the other co-op members. How exciting is that! The minimum investment is £25 and this can be split over 5 monthly payments. Read my Ripple Energy review and have a think if it’s right for you.

Ripple Energy – The perfect storm. 💨

My Ripple Energy Review.

Last night it was blowing a hooley! It was so windy I couldn’t get to sleep I started watching a webinar on Ripple Energy.  Sarah Merrick the CEO and founder of Ripple Energy was the guest speaker. Sarah quite obviously knows her stuff on renewable energy and has had a varied and quite high profile background career in the wind farm arena. She talked with passion about the progress of Ripples Energy’s first cooperative wind farm in South Wales and how the cooperative owners will benefit from cheaper green energy.  More importantly, she pointed out that by investing you will become apart of quite a historic event as the Graig Fatha wind farm will be the first consumer-owned wind farm in Britain! Now that should cause a ripple in the energy industry I am sure!  👏

I know the area where the Graig Fatha Co-operative wind farm will be very well. It’s a good location high in the South Wales Valleys.  For those who know South Wales at all, it’s near Tonyrefail, which is around 40 minutes drive from Cardiff. An ideal location for the first British consumer-owned wind farm!

I have had many silly lockdown purchases. Most have arrived in an oversized cardboard box. Last night’s purchase of part of a wind farm, thanks to Ripple Energy, is I have to admit one of my better purchases! We need a brighter future!! 💚

ripple energy cashback

Ripple Energy Review – How it works?

Once I had decided to invest in the Graig Fatha wind farm I had passed the point of no return (the one swoosh = 8 hours of energy had me) and the sign-up process was extremely easy.

To create your green energy ownership plan (buy a part of the wind farm in South Wales) you are asked to enter your postcode. From this screen you are asked a few straightforward questions:

  • How do you pay for your electricity?
  • Your current supplier.
  • How much electricity do you use in kWh each year? (you can say don’t know but I got mine very easily from my online energy bill.)
  • Your name and email address.

Ripple Energy then sends you an email that contains the suggested amount of the wind farm you could buy to have 100% of your energy supplied by your own wind farm investment.

Ripple Energy Review – Getting a quote from Ripple Energy.

Once I had completed the initial questions online Ripple Energy sent me a wind farm ownership plan via email. The plan was based on a 100% ratio of my energy consumption to wind farm ownership. Buying this amount of the wind farm would mean that 100% of my energy would come from the Graig Fatha Co-operative wind farm in South Wales.

ripple energy customer Ripple Energy links up with my energy supplier (you have to be with specific suppliers Octopus Energy is one of them) and my supplier, Octopus Energy buys that energy and discounts my energy bill depending on how much energy my portion of the wind turbine has produced that month.  (that’s it explained in its simplest form I think 😁)

You can opt to have 100% of your energy from your wind turbine or less, much less. I decided as an initial investment to go with 10% of my energy being supplied by the Graig Fatha Co-operative wind farm. So I logged back into Ripple Energy and used the requoted on that basis.

You can select any amount of investment the minimum is £25 but you cannot exceed 110% of your annual energy use.

How much does it cost to buy part ownership of the Graig Fatha Co-operative wind farm?

I opted for 10% of my yearly energy consumption and here’s the breakdown.

Through Ripple Energy, I bought into the Graig Fatha Co-operative. I based my investment on 10% of my home energy being supplied by the wind turbine co-operative over 25 years.

I now own 186.666 Watts. The expected output of 499 kWh equates to 10% of my energy usage. The cost was £323.37. I paid it in one go but you can spread it out over 5 monthly payments.

With this investment I could save:
  • £22.93 per year on my yearly electricity bill. (I know it’s low but I find the green energy angle attractive)
  • £570 over the 25 year lifetime of the wind farm.
  • 129 kg of CO2 each year. That’s the equivalent of planting 46 trees a year. 💚

While there is still availability at the Graig Fatha Co-operative I can add more of an investment or I can wait for another project in the future and buy a share in that too. So I could own more cooperative memberships in different geographical locations of the UK.

Does investing in a Ripple Energy co-operative save you money?

ripple energy reviewThis is a yes and no answer! Yes, you will save money on your energy bill, and you should get your investment back over the course of the 25 years through discounted energy bills BUT you will not get your initial investment back in a lump sum. This isn’t a money-making scheme!  I would say that with electricity prices rising being able to own part of a green energy scheme and owning your own wind farm is quite a good idea. This won’t make you rich though! You’re doing it for the green incentive.

If you don’t make lots of money why would you invest in a wind farm with Ripple Energy?

For me, it all comes down to wanting to help make a better future for my children. I will reduce my energy bill over the 25-year life span of the wind farm and recoup my investment knowing I have supported renewable energy generation.  There is a risk I won’t recoup my investment BUT there is also a risk that my children and my grandchildren will suffer from the fallout of global warming.

Can I be with Octopus Energy and Ripple Energy?

Yes, Ripple Energy doesn’t supply a tariff. Ripple Energy isn’t a home energy provider. They offer customers the chance to own a wind farm as part of a cooperative that’s it.  They then sell the energy generated to the energy provider. Ripple partners with Octopus Energy and they aim to bring other energy providers onboard.

As a member of the wind farm cooperative, you get a credit applied to your Octopus Energy bill depending on the wind generated by your portion of the wind farm. (Octopus Energy buys the energy from the wind farm and you get it discounted.) It doesn’t matter if you don’t use all the energy generated by your share of the wind farm as each month your portion is simply credited to your Octopus Energy account.

You can be on any Octopus Energy tariff!!

ripple energy code

Why would I want to invest in a wind farm when I am already getting 100% green energy with Octopus Energy?

The simple answer is you don’t have to. You can easily get 100% green energy with Octopus Energy. There’s no joining fee or no exit fee with Octopus and you will be using green energy all day long at home. So why would you invest in a wind farm at all in another question!

Personally, I want to try and do as much as I can within my family budget to reduce my carbon footprint. Octopus ✅ that box but I like the idea and community-owned green initiatives. I am not sure if in my own area we could muster enough people to start a project but online, people can come together from all sorts of geographical locations to form a group with similarly minded people. I suppose that’s why crowdfunding is popular.  In a similar way, I really like this. I can’t wait to see how it develops.  I also love the fact that the entry point is so low. You can invest from £25.

Octopus Energy has a similar scheme but they have funded the turbines. They have two wind turbines that they offer as part of a “fan club” if you live within a designated postcode. You sign up and get a discount when your turbine is spinning BUT Octopus owns the turbines.

Can I sell my ownership in the wind farm?

No, you can’t sell it for a profit. If you want to hand it back to the cooperative and there is a waiting list you can get your portion of the investment back when it is bought by another investor entering the co-op.  Your shares value in the turbine will go down each year. This is because you are accessing the yearly energy saving. So the new investor who buys your part of the turbine will benefit from the same price to saving ratio. So they will pay, for example, half the amount you paid if there are 12.5 years remaining. They will then get the same energy savings for the remaining 12.5 years.

What happens after 25 years?

At the end of the 25 years, the investment ends BUT a few years prior the cooperative (which means the investors) can decide how they wish to proceed.  The cooperative will have a board made up of its members and they will decide if to maintain, dismantle or replace the turbine and how that should be paid for.  Ripple Energy can help once again facilitate this or maybe the cooperative decided to appoint a new company to help them run the wind farm! It’s important to remember that the cooperative owns the turbine, not Ripple.

This is a quote from CEO Sarah Merrick.

We expect the turbine’s operating life to be 25 years. During years 20-25 all of the members’ bill savings would be the benefit of trading with the co-op rather than repayment of share capital.

If the turbine operates for a further 15 years, great. The co-op members get a further 15 years of low-cost electricity. They still own the turbine, even after the share capital has been repaid so still get the same electricity bill savings.

It’s also really important to understand that Ripple and the wind farm co-operative is not an investment vehicle. It is a way for people to own large-scale renewable energy assets and benefit from the low-cost, green electricity it produces.

Is community-owned energy the answer?

We have to at least try to move away from centralised brown energy like fossil fuels to more greener locally produced energy and Ripple Energy can help us with that.

I really like the CEO of Ripple Energy Sarah Merrick.

I have never met Sarah but I have followed her on Twitter for a while and after watching her Youtube live last night I can happily say she definitely has her head screwed on. Wind turbines are the way to go. In the winter when there is more demand for energy is it usually windy and so can help meet demand. I think it outperforms solar in that respect as in the UK we get more sunshine in the summer when there is in fact less demand for energy on the national grid.

Sarah Merrick had the vision to create a company that could facilitate customers in creating renewable energy Cooperatives and I think it’s one well worth investing in! I love people power!!!!  We all have to try and make a difference and this is a great way to do so.  Thanks for following your dreams, Sarah. Fingers crossed for a launch party!

PROSCONS
💚 You are investing in renewable energy.❌ You invest upfront and the investment depreciates each year. (You recover your investment through savings on your energy bill.)
💚 Reduction on your energy bill.❌ You won't get rich investing.
💚 You know where your energy comes from.
✅ Simple to set up.
✅ Your energy savings will move with when you move home.
🌍 Invest and make a difference to the planet.
✅You can get involved (if you want) and join the co-op wind farm board.
✅ You can invest as little as £25 and spread this over 5 payments. So it's accessible.
✅ You can pass on your recommendation and get £25 energy credit when your friend invests more than £250.

I can’t wait for the Graig Fatha wind farm to start spinning in the autumn. That’s one really great lockdown purchase I’ve made!

If you would like to invest in the Graig Fatha Co-operative you can use my friend’s link. By using my Ripple Energy referral link Ripple will give you £25 credit to your bill when the wind farm starts operating. I will also get £25 credit on my bill as a thank you. (so if you use it that would be really great, thank you!) You can start sharing your code amongst friends once you have joined.  

ripple energy review

I had no idea Ripple Energy did a referral reward before I joined, so I missed out on the £25 reward. I am really pleased that they do as it’s a great way of rewarding customers instead of paying advertising fees! Rewarding customers is always a bonus in my book. Ripple energy friends referral link. Ripple Energy – Minimum investment £250 for the £25 credit to be applied.

octopus cashback

Now let’s get down to business with FREE STUFF.

How can I get a free cuddly Octopus from Octopus Energy?

octopus energy cashbackOnce you have signed up to Octopus Energy if you want to get your hands on a free cuddly Octopus they will send you one in the post, although it can take a few weeks depending on stock. Her name is Constantine. (I am not joking)

Borrow a free thermal imaging camera from Octopus Energy.

If you would like to borrow a thermal imaging camera to find out where the heat is escaping from your home or workplace you can request one here.

Spin to win.

Also, don’t forget you get a chance to win a cash prize when you enter your meter reading with “spin to win.” 

Competitions.

The Green Friday prize draw to win a funky green electric VW Beatle has now ended but keep an eye on their social media for more competitions. (The big competitions usually appear in your Octopus Energy dashboard)

Virtual Pub Quiz.

 

Octopus Energy Refer a friend.

Once you have chosen to switch to Octopus Energy as a new customer using a referral link, you’ll be given £50 credit on your first bill and your own personal referral code to share with friends and families. For every person that switches with your code, you both get £50 credited towards your next bill. It takes just two minutes to switch and your code is effective immediately. (I would be delighted if you use mine to get you started, thank you!)

Octopus Energy Podcast.

Octopus entered the market with a desire to disrupt the status quo with energy that’s good for the planet, good for your wallet, and, honestly, good for your soul. Listen to their journey, vision, and tech discussions on this free podcast series. (I have enjoyed them – but I am a bit of a geek) They really are the Silicon Valley of the energy market.


Do you live in South Wales or East Yorkshire?

Is your postcode either YO43 (Yorkshire) CF81 or NP24 ?(South Wales) If you are in either of these areas you can apply to join the “Octopus Fan Club“. Aptly named as customers living near wind turbines in Caerphilly and  Market Weighton can apply to benefit from their windy location. Any electricity you use while your local turbine is spinning automatically gives you a 20% discount.  Even better, when the wind picks up and the green electrons really start flowing, you’ll get 50% off every unit you use.

You can find more information here. The project was launched today and is the first of its kind in the UK. (18/1/2021)

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