Coopérnico is a clean energy cooperative that promotes sustainable development, social support, ethical investment and—most importantly for those in energy poverty—fair prices.
Portugal has the second-highest energy prices in Europe. While the climate is not extreme, up to 22% of homes struggle to stay warm during winter and 29% cannot keep cool during summer.
Coopérnico gets involved in all aspects of the energy market, starting with investment and renewable production. Their model is a democratic energy system alternative, owned by and working for citizens.
Coopérnico’s 1 000 members collectively invest in solar power projects that are installed on the roofs of social support organisations, which often struggle to cover their own energy costs. In some cases, excess energy produced is fed into the Portuguese energy grid, thereby earning an income.
This model incentivizes citizens to participate in decision-making and know more about the energy sector. To date, the cooperative signed almost 550 renewable energy contracts.
In addition, Coopérnico helps people become smart consumers. An online platform lets anyone upload their energy bills to get advice on how to reduce consumption. They also organise meetings to discuss energy efficiency and energy saving tips.
Nuno Brito Jorge, Board President of Coopérnico, is one of five winners among 15 finalists in the Tackle Fuel Poverty Initiative launched by the Schneider Electric Foundation, the Ashoka Foundation, and Enel Group. Check out this video interview to learn more.