Beating Energy Poverty with Gridmates: First Peer-to-Peer Crowdfunding Source of Energy
Donating energy to improve the lives of others is an inspiring concept. Did you know that 48 million people in the U.S. can’t afford to pay for electricity? That means living in darkness without the things we take for granted every day: air conditioning, heat, the ability to cook and store food, and the lack of power to clean clothing with washers and dryers, among many other things. The major appliances hooked up to our electrical systems that we can’t imagine living without is a reality for 48 million people in the U.S. The solution for energy poverty: the Austin, Texas startup company, Gridmates.
Gridmates is the first online-based peer-to-peer crowdfunding source of energy that allows utility customers, corporations, and non-profit companies to share their electricity by donating hours of energy in dollar amounts to people in need. Earlier this year, Gridmates also made it possible for homeowners with solar power to share their excess energy they aren’t using. If that isn’t enough, the Austin-based company has partnered with Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a non-profit company for its very first project; a 27-acre village that will deliver donated electricity in a sustainable, reasonably priced community for the homeless and disabled individuals in Central Texas. To date, donations have accumulated to 569,974 KWh. That’s 80 days worth of electricity! Their goal: 150 days of energy for 240 residents.
This company could be a real game-changer in the renewable energy sector. People who use solar energy to power their homes will be able to donate the surplus they don’t need to help with energy poverty in the U.S. Gridmates is only in its beginning stages. More awareness and education is necessary so that people can do more for others in need aside from charity donations. This has a real, tangible impact on the lives of those 48 million people in need of electricity to power their homes, and I hope it becomes very successful in combating energy poverty in the U.S., and maybe even around the world.