Mongoose Energy launches UK’s first dedicated crowdfunding platform for community energy offering UK investors cleaner energy, tax-free financial returns, and better social dividends
The UK’s leading community energy company, Mongoose Energy, today launched a new crowdfunding platform – Mongoose Crowd – to serve thousands of active community energy investors in the UK. Mongoose Crowd connects its investors with UK community energy projects that target better financial returns, lower environmental impacts and positive social dividends.
For the first time, UK investors will be able to crowdfund community energy bonds within a tax-free Individual Savings Account (ISA) wrapper, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
Mongoose Energy’s model for developing and managing community energy assets is changing the way energy is generated, bought and sold in the UK. The company is majority-owned by 10 of the UK’s leading community energy groups. Launching its own crowdfunding platform will enable Mongoose to attract a wider group of new and existing UK investors to its projects, allowing them to:
• Join a growing community of impact investors taking control of where to invest their capital
• Invest in community energy on an investment platform built by communities for communities
• Invest directly into bonds that finance local renewable energy projects and cut UK emissions
• Invest up to £20,000 a year in renewable energy projects via a tax-free ISA wrapper
• Invest in community energy projects for the first time on a fully FCA-regulated platform
Until recently, Mongoose Energy raised money for community projects on third-party platforms, but believes hosting its own crowdfunding platform will make it easier to innovate and grow: offering more investors a wider portfolio of projects to invest in and target returns that are expected to beat the interest a typical savings account will offer.
Sir Ed Davey MP, former UK Energy & Climate Change Secretary and Chairman of Mongoose Energy, said: “More people want a bigger say in where their power comes from, where their investments go, and in improving their own communities. Mongoose innovation puts more power back into the hands of local communities. Launching our own crowdfunding platform means we can dispatch better energy, better financial returns and better social dividends to UK community investors.”
Mark Kenber, recently appointed Chief Executive of Mongoose Energy, said: “Mongoose Crowd gives people more power over their own savings and their local energy supply. Thousands of UK investors are looking at alternative finance and keen to support clean community energy. Our new crowdfunding platform helps make investments in clean community energy easier, more profitable and more democratic. Community energy has a major role to play in creating the efficient, low carbon UK energy system we all want – enabling individuals and communities to invest in it gives all of us a stake in this exciting future.”
Initial Mongoose Crowd offerings will go live to investors during ‘Community Energy Fortnight’ (24 June – 8 July) with bond sales totalling £1.5 million supporting the refinancing of a portfolio of solar projects near Bath and Bristol so community groups can develop other clean energy projects in the region.
Merlin Hyman, CEO of Regen said: “Mongoose Crowd is a great initiative for UK investors who want to spark a low carbon energy revolution. Investing in community energy projects boosts UK energy security, climate targets and local jobs as well as offering financial returns.”
As renewable energy (including community-owned generation) becomes increasingly competitive with other forms of generation, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending are increasingly popular ways to fund community energy projects and proving attractive to a local, impact and ethical investors looking for a better financial and social dividend. Mongoose Crowd aims to attract small investors frustrated by low interest rates on their savings, volatility in equity markets and current financial market uncertainty. It will fund a variety of community energy projects including solar, wind, hydro, battery installations and smart energy innovations.
Community renewable energy projects are increasingly competitive without subsidy although many earlier projects still benefit from inflation-linked, long-term government subsidies such as FITs and ROCs that complement the sale of energy to the grid. Consequently, this type of asset investment offers long-term, inflation-linked returns. On Mongoose Crowd these investment opportunities will be FCA-regulated and Innovative Finance ISA-compliant.
Molly Webb, CEO of Energy Unlocked – a hub for innovation in global energy systems – said: “Financial innovation and energy innovation are disrupting our energy markets to make local energy cheaper, cleaner and more affordable. Mongoose Crowd is the latest chapter in the UK’s clean energy revolution and opens up exciting investment opportunities in our clean energy market to all UK savers.”
Since 2015, Mongoose Energy has raised more than £70 million in capital to finance the construction and management of 60 MW of community owned solar PV projects, generating enough renewable electricity to power over 18,000 homes. Typically, investors have received 4.5-7% return on their investments depending on the performance of their project. Over their 20-year lifetime, the projects in the portfolio are projected to deliver millions back to local community benefit companies to be used to create local jobs for local people, reducing energy costs in local community buildings like schools, helping people out of energy poverty, and biodiversity.
Mongoose Crowd will harness innovative technology from Edinburgh-based ShareIn to provide FCA approved crowdfunding software services.
Jude Cook, Co-founder and CEO of ShareIn, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Mongoose Energy, who have been at the forefront of community ownership for renewable energy projects, to deliver their new investment platform. Using our technology to ensure more renewable energy projects in the UK get funded is something we’re proud to be a part of.”
Investors who are interested in the platform and investment opportunities in UK community energy can register at www.mongoosecrowd.co.uk