A couple in London have been sleeping on their roof for 23 nights in order to crowdfund money to buy their street solar panels.
Dan Edelstyn and Hilary Powell are filmmakers who live in the borough of Walthamstow and are hugely worried about the twin crises of energy and climate.
Like so many people across the world, their electricity bills have soared this year and they are concerned about the impact of fossil fuels on the planet.
It was time, they decided, to do something about it.
“So, our idea was, let’s try and turn our street into a renewable power station by putting solar panels on the top of every house that wants them,” Dan told Moncrieff.
“And also insulating all the houses as well.”
Solar panels generate energy from the sun’s rays and have soared in demand since the spring.
The upfront cost of installation deters many people from investing but Dan and Hillary worked out that bulk buying and installing them reduces the price by around half.
Furthermore, as filmmakers, the couple thought the idea would make a compelling tale about the power of community faced with two totemic crises.
“We decided we’d make a film about it where we’re trying to suggest to the Government that this is what they should be doing everywhere right now - if they had the interests of the people at heart,” Dan continued.
“Because it wouldn’t take that long to pay off the cost of doing it.
“The sunshine itself would be the major guarantor of the payment, if you like, because after about five years all the costs of doing that would be paid off.
“So, really it’s a no brainer.”
Around 40 houses are interested in the scheme and it is estimated that it will generate between 30 and 60% of each house’s energy requirements - depending on how many are installed and where the panels face.
“That’s a major saving for people on their energy bills and if they also get insulated it will save them even more on their energy and we’re trying to do the insulation as well,” Dan said.
Originally the couple aimed to crowdfund £100,000 for the project but they have since stretched it to £150,000 because of the additional interest and extra cost of insulation.
“We’re trying to broaden this out and make a street by street approach,” he added.
“We’ve created a free membership site where people can come and log in and find out how to do it for themselves on their own streets.
“We’re developing that and trying to make a feature film about this process as well.”
In Ireland, households receive up to €2,400 in grants for the installation of solar panels.
Main image: Solar panels on the roof of a house.