Posts Tagged ‘community energy’

Join the energy revolution

November 4th, 2014
children  holding a banner and balloons

The launch of the Low Carbon Hub share offer at Larkrise School

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?

The Low Carbon Hub is giving you the chance to invest in a “new wave of renewable energy projects” through its community share offer scheme.

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?

Logo for the share offer, saying "Invest now in renewable energy for Oxfordshire". To find out more and to invest, go to: www.lowcarbonhub.org/invest