by our Chair, Peter Thompson
Our most ambitious fund raise to date is off to a promising start. We’ve seen coverage across the renewables press and our community has been spreading the word on social media encouraging people to #OwnIt. For as little as £50 up to £100,000, you can offset your carbon footprint, gain a return on your investment, and support your local community.
This animation sums it up neatly:
We’ve been developing community-owned, environmentally friendly energy generation since 2011. Our two previous share offers raised £247,000 from over 200 investors to fund the installation of solar PV panels on the roofs of six community buildings in Bristol. The building occupants benefit from a long-term supply of subsidised green energy, we receive the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) payments for the electricity produced, and investors receive a return on their investment.
Our latest share offer gives you the opportunity to join our community, or to increase your investment if you’re already a member. We’re aiming to significantly increase our generating capacity with two community-owned solar farms and around 20 roof-top solar installations on community buildings.
How will we pay for these community projects? A proportion of the £10.6 million we need is being raised through bank loans and a parallel BEC bond issue, leaving a target for this share offer of £2.8 million – one of the largest fund-raises so far in the community energy sector.
An investment in community energy helps people do good with their money, by offsetting C02 and helping to challenge climate change, as well as making a financial return. As one of our investors, Alexandra Pickford said, “This empowers a lot of people and makes you feel very good that you are doing something”. You can hear more from our investors and the community projects they’ve helped, such as Knowle West Media Centre and Easton Community Centre, in this video.
But there is a long way to go to meet our target – and it’s a tight deadline. The Chancellor threw a curveball by ending EIS tax relief. To deal with that, we’ve brought forward the deadline for receiving applications to 23 November, so that you can still benefit from EIS if you act quickly!
So now we need to find the money. We do hope you can help out with this, by investing, and encouraging others to do the same.
Why we urge you to invest:
- Earn a return on your investment (we are aiming to pay our members 5% interest per annum)
- Offset your carbon footprint and help challenge climate change
- Strengthen local energy supplies and improve energy security
- Support local communities by the re-investment of surplus profits
Bristol 2015 – a real impact
As Bristol’s year as European Green Capital comes to an end, our community fund raise offers the chance for us all to leave a lasting legacy. This investment will help us develop community-owned projects that deliver significant, long-term benefits for Bristol and the surrounding area. Find out more about how to invest on the Ethex website.
Thanks so much for your continued support. Help us realise our ambitions and #OwnIt this year!