In a previous article we set out the case for Local Community Energy Co-operatives as a valuable way forward in reducing our reliance on damaging fossil fuel energy sources. Now Malvern Community Energy Co-operative (MCEC, set up by Transition Malvern Hills) is offering you the opportunity to invest in this attractive, ethical investment in community renewable energy generation.
There are now examples in the UK and a very large number of community schemes in the rest of Europe. To see some of the UK schemes visit www.sharenergy.coop, local examples are Leominster Solar PV panels on the leisure centre, Woolhope Woodheat Biomass boilers and wood supply and Neen Sollars Community Hydro.
MCEC has a team of 10 volunteers determined to make this work locally. We are now completing the Share Offer document so that local people can decide whether they want to join us as members of the Co-op by subscribing/investing in our first project to put Solar PhotoVoltaic panels on the Malvern Cube.
We have chosen the Cube as our first building because of the additional social value we can create by reducing the Cube’s electricity bills, as well as being capable of delivering a modest return to MCEC’s members/community subscribers. Could you be one of them? The minimum shareholding is £250. We are still finalising the sums but we expect the average annual rate of return to be in excess of 3% for non tax payers and more than twice that for tax payers.
There will be a Launch meeting for the Share Offer at the Cube at 8pm on the 10th March. We are collecting details of people interested in investing so we can keep them up to date.
If you are interested or even excited about this new and very important venture, contact at www.malverncommunityenergy.org
MCE Poster for circulation and display (pdf).
UPDATE: link to share offer information
A message just in from County Hall
I work in the sustainability and economic sections of Worcestershire County Council and thought that this information may be of interest to Transition Malvern and to help raise awareness of the Resource Efficient Worcestershire programme. Below is a little more about the programme:
Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce's programme of support called Resource Efficient Worcestershire is for small and medium size businesses (in Worcestershire), to help become more efficient and reduce the costs and usage of energy, water, waste and raw materials (and improve environmentally too!). The Resource Efficient Worcestershire programme offers free assessments (worth two days of support) which could lead to grants to small medium sized enterprises. Firstly we offer a free assessment and following this a business can apply for a grant of up to £6,750 (45% of project costs) towards any of the recommended improvements. The grants can be used for activities such as more efficient lighting, heating, processes and equipment to reduce waste, water management, more in depth feasibility studies, plus more...
It's aimed at SME's who are business to business, particularly manufacturing. Unfortunately retail or agricultural businesses do not qualify, due to the criteria set out be our funders at the European Regional Development Fund. So far we have 25 businesses registered on the programme at various stages of completion and there has been a diverse range of advice, some examples have included looking at why 30% of one manufacturing company's energy costs (and over 9K) are being consumed during weekends and evenings, when there was no operational activity taking place – Improved controls of furnace temperatures will drastically reduce this. Another business is being helped to find an outlet for recycling its vast amount of plastic waste and the assessments have also identified that a water leak has been costing a business an additional 2k over several months, which can be repaired very easily. Another business is exploring using waste heat from an industrial oven to heat it's warehouse. We have just awarded our first grant to a business seeking to improve its lighting.
I hope this information is useful to you and more details can be found at www.business-central.co.uk or by calling (01905 822833).
"Chancellor unveils generous tax breaks for fracking companies and financial incentives for local communities"
See this story in The Guardian