Archive for November, 2014
You’re invited to our Christmas drinks, on Wednesday 17 December, just off Church Green!
This event to say thank you to our members for a great year, and to celebrate our five-year anniversary which is this December. We’re also welcoming new members and hope to chat with interested people from other local groups or just from the general public.
The fun starts at 7.30pm; we’ve got the room booked in St Mary’s Church; we’ve planned mince pies, mulled wine and more: so come and celebrate with us!
(Please do let us know if you’re coming, so we can make sure we’ve got enough of everything.)
The Sustainable Witney Thermal Imaging Team (not as grand as it sounds) is back out on the streets these dark evenings, surveying the houses of Witney residents who’ve signed up. And if you haven’t done so yourself, then here’s why you could benefit from a thermal imaging survey.
Images like the one on the right can make it clear to an expert exactly whereabouts on your property you’re losing heat: and having to pay both in terms of cash and also long-term environmental damage for it! They can check if your existing insulation measures are sufficient, and also if you need any other improvements to your house.
If your property is surveyed by us, or if you’ve any questions generally, you can come along to a meeting in March at Woodgreen, and get advice from such an expert!
Interested? Email email@example.com with your address and postcode and we’ll try to fit you in. Please note that we’re volunteers with limited time (and the imaging is very sensitive to weather conditions), but we’ll do our best!
Five years ago a small group of us rode to London to march in The Blue Wave, planned to coincide with the climate change conference in Copenhagen. From that seed Sustainable Witney formed.
Last week the IPCC were back in Copenhagen, crossing the Ts and dotting the Is on what they knew then, while our leaders look inwards and pick on anyone and anything else.
Where are the leaders who will look out for our next generation?
We’d all like our money to work harder. But what if your investment made Oxfordshire a better place as well as bringing in financial returns?
What’s the point?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to build another Didcot Power Station? The Low Carbon Hub has a long-term plan to boost production of renewable energy in Oxfordshire, reducing the county’s dependence on fossil fuels. But we’re not talking about giant Didcot-sized renewable projects; we’re talking about lots of smaller projects like rooftop solar and mini-hydro projects. Lots of small-scale projects add up to something much bigger: a clean-energy future for Oxfordshire (with less vulnerability to price shocks).
How does it work?
You invest between £250 (minimum) and £100,000 (maximum) to buy shares in the scheme. That money gets spent on local clean-energy projects. Those projects generate electricity, which makes money, some of which comes back to you as a return on your investment. The Low Carbon Hub says that the return on your investment is likely to be around 5% a year.
How do I apply?
You need to have at least the minimum investment amount of £250. You can apply for the shares online. The Low Carbon Hub are using an ethical investment company called Ethex to manage the community share offer, so you will need to register with the Ethex website before you can apply.
Your money will be accepted immediately and held safely in a separate account while your application is processed. It may take up to 28 days for the Hub’s board of directors to accept your application for shares. If for any reason they can’t issue the shares to you, or end up issuing fewer shares than you applied for, your money (or part of it) will be returned to you.
Will I make a quick profit?
No. The point of the share offer is to create an energy supply that’s both financially and environmentally sustainable. That can’t be done in a hurry. This is about the long term. So the Low Carbon Hub community share offer is designed to bring solid financial returns over a 20-year period. You can’t sell or transfer your shares to make a quick profit.
Is this a safe place to put my money?
If you’re thinking of investing, you should be clear that this isn’t like putting money in a savings account. Your money won’t be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or any other deposit protection schemes, and the return on your investment is not guaranteed. The Low Carbon Hub advise people to think about whether they can afford to lose the money they are thinking of investing. If the answer is no, you are urged not to invest.
What’s the deadline to invest?
You have until Friday 28 November to apply for shares. The Low Carbon Hub is aiming to raise £1.5 million for this part of the scheme, which they call the “first wave”. This will fund lots of solar panel installations across Oxfordshire, including rooftop solar at The Marlborough School and Woodstock Primary School. At the time of writing, people have already invested £646,050 in the share offer – that’s 43% of the target. Could you be the next to invest?
To find out more and to invest, go to: www.lowcarbonhub.org/invest
Sustainable Witney invites you to Christmas mulled wine and mince pies, on December 17, from 7.30pm. We’ve hired a room at St Mary’s on Church Green especially, and you can come along and chat to other members about the year just passed for SW, and what 2015 might bring.
Everyone welcome, even if you don’t fancy volunteering: we value your thoughts on SW; and those mince pies won’t eat themselves! But please do let us know if you’re coming, so we can make sure we’ve got enough of everything.