Community energy is a group of people joining forces to own renewable energy assets that generate clean electricity and from which the profits are invested back into the community, supporting local projects focused on alleviating poverty.
These groups tend to be Community Benefit Societies or Community Interest Companies, legally obligated to operate for the benefit of the community. Heart of England Community Energy is a Community Benefit Society.
Ownership of renewable energy projects has many benefits, socially, environmentally and economically:
- Members of the community benefit society will receive a target 6%* interest on their shares in the company as stated on the share offer document
- Decline in communities’ reliance on the “big six” firms and foreign energy supply
- Helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing reliance on fossil fuels
- Community benefit will be partly focused on projects that have both social and environmental benefits
- Provides opportunity for the community to get involved
- Increases community awareness of energy use and its effects
- Promotes energy democracy
- Profits are re-directed back into the community to tackle local issues