North Wales native, Carwyn, is a self-confessed techie with a penchant for exciting new stuff, so the Energy Local project was right up his street.
Hi Carwyn, how did you end up joining your Energy Local club?
I live with my partner in the Ogwen Valley. The area is great for the quality of life, but I kept thinking we could do better when it came to working on different types of projects - other than tourism or the history of the area. I wanted to see more forward thinking projects, so when I heard from a mate about Energy Local, I thought, “yeah, that’s for me”.
Do you think it’s changed the way you think about your energy use?
We used to be on a fairly standard tariff, and largely accepted any bill that came. After being part of the project I’m much more aware of what I use and the importance of it - because there’s something I can do about it. Now I have a direct influence on how much it costs to use my electricity, much more so than before.
Me and some mates have also started looking into electric cars. We think it could be a good idea to go down that route - it’d be perfect for daily commute. On Energy Local, the tariff is so low overnight, it’s virtually free! I’ve also been thinking about an electric bike for my mum to help her go up hill - it’s not that that wasn’t an option before but because we have the project it's much more favourable now.
How has the project affected the local community?
There is definitely a community spirit to the project. People who wouldn’t really speak to each other before have brought together around a common goal. We are thinking collectively about how we can make the most of the project, how to understand it as a concept, teaching and learning off of each other.
You’re now a champion of the project in your local community. What made you want to get so involved?
This goes back to what I said at the beginning - it’s about encouraging things in the local area that I think will be beneficial for the community. Projects that give a sense of identity to an area are so important, and there’s a need for that across north Wales. I wanted to bring something different to the project, helping to give people skills and to build them. If I can do that then that’s worth something.
Photo: Tom Simone