piggybank

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In a period with little good news for community energy, there has been a glimmer of light on the tax front. Although we have lost the EIS and SEIS tax reliefs, we have gained the Government’s new Personal Savings Allowance. This measure, announced at the Budget, means that a certain amount of income from interest in a year will be tax free. For lower-rate taxpayers that will be £1000. That means that you could, for example, have £15,000 in community energy shares with a 6% return and pay no tax on the interest whatsoever. For some people the benefits could even be as good as EIS.

The new Allowance doesn’t just apply to Society shares of course, but it does make it easier for people on normal incomes to support community energy schemes.

 

Ludlow screw turbine

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The Archimedes screw turbine has now arrived on site and been manoeuvred into place next to the River Teme in Ludlow. We’ve been involved in attempts to get community hydro up and running in Ludlow for the last 8 years so we’re delighted to see the project so close to completion – commissioning is scheduled for next week. At the same time some grid upgrades are underway for Heartland Community Wind which will soon be able to run at full capacity. It’s great to see that both Dingwall Wind Coop and Wester Derry Wind Co-op managed to meet the financial projections in their share offer documents almost exactly and were able to agree their first payments to members and community fund at their recent AGMs.

We have a full roster of new projects which are nearly ready to go and are planning share offers in May. Whether you are keen on solar, hydro or wind, small or large projects, making cheap electricity for community buildings or pumping juice back into the grid, we are working with a community ptoject that woudl love to have you as a member. In the meantime if you’d be prepared to spend 30 seconds telling us what sort of projects you might consider joining, please do fill in our online survey .

Members Map

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We’re delighted to say that community energy projects we have been working with have added 700 members in the last 2 months from all across the UK – the map covers most parts of mainland Britain as well as Shetland – and a few supporters based in Germany. It’s a fantastic vote of confidence in community energy and gives us hope to take forward more ambitious projects. Government policy has turned away from renewables but it’s clear lots of people in the UK still support community-owned renewables to the hilt.

Heartland turbines

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We are looking for an experienced and qualified accountant to join our team in Shrewsbury on a part-time basis (3 days/week). You will be at the heart of our small team providing support for new and established community energy Societies across the UK producing clean, locally-owned renewable energy – like these turbines at Heartland Community Wind in Scotland. See totaljobs for more details and to apply. Deadline is 8 Jan 2016.

Heartland

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Battling against wind and snow, Heartland’s fabulous installation team have managed to get both turbines up on the site in mid-Scotland. Congratulations to all at RM Energy and colleagues, and to members of Heartland Wind Co-op which is now fully subscribed.

NCE

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With only days to go before tax relief is removed for shares in community energy projects, there are still shares available in several projects, with EIS and SEIS reliefs available.

If you are still keen to show your support for community energy and benefit from the tax reliefs which will make your money go further, please see the offers on our live page – wind, solar and hydro projects from Shetland to Dorset.

 

For any questions, please call 01743 277119 or contact admin@sharenergy.coop

Pomona Launch

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The treasury have announced the removal of Enterprise Investment Scheme tax relief for community energy projects with almost immediate effect – and will not be replacing it with Social Investment Tax Relief, as promised.

This means that members of community energy projects will be ineligible for the tax reliefs of SEIS, EIS and SITR for shares issued from November 30th 2015 (where projects are also in receipt of FIT or ROCs etc). 

This change has come with no warning and was announced directly to the House of Commons last week as an addition to the Finance Bill which is currently progressing through Parliament.  Community energy advocates around the country have been taken aback by this unexpected statement, the speed with which changes are being made, and the reversal of earlier announcements on the intention to replace EIS with SITR. There appears to be no mechanism to challenge this decision.

We are urging everyone to take this opportunity to help all projects with live share offers to meet their share offer targets swiftly.  The change does not affect any existing shareholding or applications with us, unless you are still to make payment.

New share offer closing dates – 20-26 November
A whole host of excellent projects have shares available.  All have wider community and environmental benefits as well as offering a fair return to members. All these share offers will now have a closing date of NOVEMBER 20-26th 2015 . It is possible there will be one or two more opening soon too, please check our live page for updates

Support community energy
All of these projects have been in development for months, if not years (in one case almost 2 decades!), led chiefly by volunteers keen to tackle climate change by using renewable resources in their area.

Please support them to reach their targets, spread the word to others keen to support and contact your MP to complain about the unfair treatment of community energy.

Nadder Community Energy

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In defiance of the bad news over Feed-in Tariffs, there are some great new share offers launching this month from Societies who have managed to pre-accredit their projects. We’ve been proud to support Nadder Community Energy who are installing over 400kW of solar in Wiltshire, and news will be coming soon of share offers from Carmarthenshire Energy and Fetlar Wind in the Shetland lslands. In the meantime Heartland Wind have started construction of their twin turbines and have some shares still available, and Pomona Solar are running another share offer to extend their system.

logo_web_250

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Sharenergy have written a brief guide for people developing new projects which may be impacted by some forthcoming government changes.

This practical guide is aimed at supporting groups with the process and time-scales involved in getting your project on the relevant Ofgem systems for pre-accreditation and pre-registration. It has been completed to supplement rather than replace advice from Ofgem.

The guide is aimed at those who are working on 50kW+ renewable energy projects which are currently in planning and will be seeking to pre-accredit and for groups who have smaller PV projects which they wish to pre-register. If you are in either of these positions and wish to talk the project through with us in more detail, please call and one of our development team will be happy to help.

You can download our Essential Guide to pre-registration and pre-accreditation for community energy projects from here:

SE Essential Guide to Pre-accred and Pre-Reg 10 Sep 2015

Oxford, UK. 5th September 2015. The second annual Community Energy Awards held at the Said Business School. L-R: Jon Halle (Share Energy) accepting the award for Community Energy Champion from Matt Criddle (Naturesave, sponsor). Photo: Andrew Walmsley

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Sharenergy is delighted that Jon Hallé was honoured with an award for ‘Community Energy Champion’ at the annual Community Energy Awards at the weekend.  We have seen his tireless dedication at close hand for the last few years, so it was great to see that more widely celebrated.

As colleague, Leila Sharland, put it “As the newest member of the development team at Sharenergy, I was immediately impressed by Jon’s breadth and depth of knowledge.  He has taught me a huge amount in a short period and I have witnessed first hand the dedication he has shown to community energy.  He is a credit to the community energy community and truly deserves this award.”

Adam Twine, the farmer from Wiltshire/Oxfordshire border who is behind the Westmill Wind Farm and Westmill Solar project (on his land) also entered the Community Energy hall of fame. Well done to Adam too!