For a limited time, Plymouth residents are being offered the chance to own the city’s biggest ever solar roof.
Following its hugely successful solar schools initiative last year, which provided solar PV installations for free to 21 schools and community buildings, Plymouth’s award winning community energy groups, Plymouth Energy Community (PEC) and PEC Renewables, have set their sights on an even bigger project.
They aim to community fund solar panels on Plymouth’s iconic Life Centre as well as at least four more schools.
PEC Renewables is a Community Benefit Society set up by its sister organisation, Plymouth Energy Community (PEC), to deliver locally-owned renewable energy. Together they have won multiple awards including the 2014 UK Social Enterprise ‘Investment Deal of the Year’, 2014 Regen SW Green Energy Award for ‘Best Community Initiative’, and the 2014 Abercrombie Award for ‘Best Green Project’.
Councillor Tudor Evans, Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: “We are delighted with the success so far of both PEC and PEC Renewables and the difference they have made so far in securing a greener Plymouth. This second share offer is the latest in a range of initiatives to make our city more energy efficient and environmentally friendly, including Council owned buildings such as the Life Centre.”
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Cooperatives, Housing and Community Safety for Plymouth City Council, said: “Energy spend is a huge challenge for the city and 10 per cent of our households live in fuel poverty. We want this to change. The Council is fully behind this project which we are supporting with a £0.5m loan.”
The aim is to raise over £950,000 through the share issue. Buyers of the shares are being offered a fair return of up to six per cent per annum (10.5 per cent with tax relief) and will be supporting a local business that is forecast to generate more than £1.2m in funds for other energy and fuel poverty projects in the city.
Dave Garland, Chair of PEC Renewables, and local resident, said: “Last year, over half of our investors were from the local area. Once again we are asking the people of Plymouth to come together to help shape our city’s energy future into our own hands.
“This share offer gives us the opportunity to generate our own energy and retain the income and cost-saving benefits locally.”
After making loan repayments, paying investor’s return and array maintenance costs, the society aims to invest surplus funds generated by the solar installations back into the City: providing services through PEC to help residents reduce their fuel bills, improve home energy efficiency and bring people out of fuel poverty. In addition, host buildings benefit from reduced energy bills and a valuable educational resource.
From 10 February, anyone who is aged 16 years or over can purchase community shares in the scheme, however first priority goes to Plymouth residents. The minimum investment is £50.
If you are interested in supporting this and would like further information; please visit www.plymouthenergycommunity.com/invest to view the full share offer prospectus and to register your attendance at one of two information evenings:
- Wednesday 4 March: Council House, Armada Way, Plymouth, PL1 2AA, 5pm to 7pm.
- Wednesday 11 March: Foot Anstey, Salt Quay House, 4 North East Quay, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth, PL4 0BN, from 5.30pm to 7pm.