Wednesday, 6 July 2016

New Community Solar Energy scheme for Reading

I'm really proud of the commitment of Reading Council and Reading Labour to renewable energy and it's something I've seen the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of Reading's community in again and again as the government has kept changing the goal posts.

Way back 2010 at my second council meeting I proposed a motion for the council to install panels on it's own buildings, a successful scheme that has since been extended to council housing by Richard Davies.

Now fellow Councillor Liz Terry and I are board members of a Community Energy Coop that we are delighted has just launched a scheme to enable local people to deliver a community energy.

There's more information in the press release below:

READING'S first ever community owned renewable energy scheme launched this month.

The exciting new project will see solar panels placed on community buildings to generate funds for the local community.

The plan is to deliver solar photovoltaic panels on up to 16 community buildings including places of worship, community centres and council-owned buildings.

The main aim of the project is to develop new clean, secure renewable sources of energy in Reading, to reduce the carbon footprint and costs to the community.

The scheme works by raising money through a public share offer which would then be used to pay for solar panel installation.

People who live in Reading are being invited to buy shares in Reading Community Energy Society (RCES) for as little as £200. The share offer opened on the 1st July and will close on 15th July. Priority will be given to local residents but it will also be open to the rest of the country.

As well as receiving a reasonable return on their shares, members will know they have helped raise much-needed money for local community schemes, as well as reducing the electricity bills of local charities and groups. 

After operating costs and shareholders annual return, all other profits would be used to fund local community activities - helping environmental projects and making Reading a cleaner and more sustainable town.

People can register their interest in the Reading Community Energy scheme now. For more information go towww.readingenergy.coop or text SUNSHINE to 60777.

Councillor Rachel Eden, Board Member of the Reading Community Energy scheme, said:

"This is a unique opportunity for Reading people to work together to invest in a local scheme which will benefit them, generate green electricity and also prove an invaluable source of funding for our local community. I'm delighted we've got this far and I hope many people will join us in this opportunity to support a better Reading."

Fellow Reading Community Energy Board Member, Councillor Liz Terry, said: 

"Residents in Reading are being offered priority to invest as little as £200 in shares. I would urge them to take advantage of this and support the project and their local community by finding out more." 

The scheme is being run Energy4All which, over the past 14 years, has been helping communities deliver renewable energy projects. People can find out more about the award winning Energy4All at www.energy4all.co.uk 

Joint the scheme at: http://readingenergy.coop/share-offer


ENDS 

Notes for Editors: 

Risk warning

Investments in shares of renewable energy co-operatives and community benefit societies are long term investments to deliver an environmental and social impact as well as a financial return. As with any investment there are risks. Your capital is at risk and may not be readily realisable. Returns are projected, variable, depend on performance of the project and are not guaranteed. Consider all risks before investing. As unregulated share offers, investments do not receive the protection of the Government's Financial Services Compensation Scheme and investors do not have recourse to the Financial Ombudsman Service.