Community owned energyReducing energy bills and keeping more money in the local community
361 Energy is a not for profit social enterprise based in North Devon which promotes energy saving and renewable energy. We have recently been awarded a seed funding grant by Devon County Council and Regen SW to enable us to begin developing community owned renewable energy projects in North Devon.
How does community owned renewable energy work?
For the building owner
We will install a solar PV system on the building at no cost to the building owner. They will then benefit from being able to purchase electricity generated from the solar PV system at about half the normal cost of electricity. The building owner will be guaranteed cheap electricity for a period of 20 years and after that period, the solar PV system will be sold to them at a price of £1. The solar panels may generate electricity for a further ten years, providing the owner with free electricity.
For the shareholder
The Solar PV installations will be funded by a community share issue. Those buying shares in the project will receive an average interest rate in excess of 5% per annum which will be paid for 20 years. During this period there will be interest payments and capital repayment. Shares will be offered first to those in the immediate vicinity of the project and subsequently across Devon. The aim is to keep the financial benefit from the project within the local community rather than money being exported out of the local economy to foreign owned electricity utilities.
For the local community
As well as providing local shareholders with an attractive rate of interest, profits from the income from the solar PV system will support a community benefit fund. Money from the community benefit fund will be spent on energy saving retrofits to community buildings and on projects assisting those in fuel poverty.
Has this worked elsewhere?
Last year Plymouth Energy Community raised over £600,000 through a community share issue and installed large solar PV systems on over 20 schools. This year they will be installing even more solar PV projects across the city.
What should I do next?
If you would like to host a renewable energy project, contact us and we will do all the initial feasibility work at no cost to you.
If you are interested in buying shares in a project, join our mailing list and we will contact you when we open our share issue.