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Five ways we can help you save money and save the planet

The credit union movement has a stellar history that includes both small steps and sure and steady planning.

Yes, we know that saving the planet is a big deal, a huge deal. It can feel like an impossible task. But instead of focusing on that, let’s look at how you can save some money and tie those savings into helping the planet breathe a little easier.

But first, let’s take a little advice from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who is revered for his part in the fight against Apartheid in South Africa. He once said that “there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.” While this approach is simple, we found that it yields surprising results when it comes to seizing control of your finances.

Adopting a green energy approach is one way to take a bite out of your expenses and take a bite out of your carbon footprint at the same time. Here are four ways that we can help you get this done.

Consider one of our loans for Photovoltaic (PV) systems on homes. – A PV system captures solar energy and converts it to the electrical energy used to power lights and appliances. The investment can reduce or even eliminate your monthly electricity bill. This means that while you are repaying the loan, your electricity bill may be zero dollars! And, if your system generates more energy than you use, Light & Power will pay you for the excess electricity you generate.

We also offer loans for Photovoltaic (PV) systems for commercial projects. This is a lot more than a scaled-up version of the domestic PV system; the target here is investors who see the renewable energy sector’s potential. Consider that in its Roadmap to 2050, The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) projects that the share of renewable energy in the power sector would increase from 25% in 2017 to 85% by 2050. And that the increase will primarily come through solar and wind power generation growth.

If you need a product to help you fund investments in the Barbados Sustainable Energy Co-op Society, we can help. Investment, as you know, is one of the friendliest ways of getting your money to work for you. As green energy solutions begin to take root, getting in on the ground floor is an excellent way to add security to your financial future. You can get more information on the Society here.

Additionally, our loans for purchasing an electric vehicle is another way to reduce your monthly expenses over the medium to long term. This loan is covered under our regular vehicle loan product with the added bonus that you can exclude any gasoline cost from your monthly budget. That’s right, you will no longer have to spend money on gasoline. You no longer have to spend time at the gas pump; you simply plug in your vehicle one evening, and it’s ready to go the following day.

Opportunities also exist in the domestic space for homeowners and renters. Many of us have seen the ads for energy-efficient appliances and equipment. Solar-powered air-conditioning units are becoming increasingly popular. Also, some of the newer ovens are making many a breakthrough. This is because, unlike convection ovens that heat up the air in the oven chamber and use this hot air for cooking food, newer ovens focus the heat onto the food with infra-red light. This means that instead of spending an hour prepping and cooking a meal, you can be ready to eat in 10 – 15 minutes. A Consumer/Personal loan is just the right fit for this kind of investment.

The credit union movement has a stellar history that includes both small steps and sure and steady planning. We also made bold moves when the right opportunities present themselves. The signs that we need to re-evaluate our energy sources and their impacts on the environment are all around us. It’s unlikely that we will ever eat any part of an elephant; we are, however, proud to be part of the movement to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and correct the damage to the environment.

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