There is plenty for everyone to get involved in the Holy Cross Community Energy Scheme. This is a great chance for Holy Cross to achieve something meaningful in the community, and inspire others to do the same. If you want to get involved, have your say and make a difference, please come to our project launch meeting on the 26th July at 7pm
The aim of our project
To install 42kWh of solar panels on the roof of Holy Cross within the year. this will:
- Generate green electricity for the priory, saving on bills
- Create an income we can use to benefit the community
- Help the environment
How we’ll do it:
We’ve joined with local co-operative Green Fox Community Energy, who have a lot of experience setting up community energy projects. They’ll help us to start our own co-operative to run the project, source funding and negotiate legal and planning aspects. Once the project is under way, Green Fox will help us to produce and launch a share offer to raise money for the installation.
How we’ll pay for it:
The government has a new Urban Community Energy Fund which should cover the initial costs of setting the project up, undertaking feasibility and producing a share issue. To pay for the installation itself, we’re proposing to sell shares in ownership of the panels, which will come with competitive dividends.
This is a better method of funding than a normal loan because it keeps ownership of the panels within the community and allows for more of the profit to go towards charitable aims. We can also use tax rebates to increase the returns for those buying shares creating an ethical and rewarding investment.
The Solar Panels
We plan on installing a 42kWh array of panels, at a cost of roughly £50,000, generating approximately 33,000 kWh of electricity per annum. This will generate a return for the co-operative through the government’s Feed in Tariff, exporting to the grid and selling energy to Holy Cross at a reduced rate. The profit will go to paying dividends to shareholders and creating a fund for the benefit of the community.
The Share Issue
Capital for the installation would be raised by selling shares in the cooperative. Return on the investment would be enhanced by applying for a 50% tax rebate from the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, and would be between 4% and 7%.
We would form an industrial and provident society as a separate legal entity from the church to own the panels and run the project. Anyone buying shares in the installation would have a vote in the running of the co-operative.