Sharenergy is here to help grow the community energy sector in the UK. We think the best way to do this is to use existing resources where possible, and to work to build up local capabilities. We try not to do work which somebody else can do better. All the groups we work with have a range of skills and abilities – we’re here to fill in the gaps, not to run the show.
For an outline of how to get going with a new project, see the Start a Project page, which also provides information about funding. For a list of the services we offer, see our Sharenergy Capabilities document. here’s a quick summary of some of the key things we do:
Site finding and initial assessment. We often work with new groups to identify possible new projects – and then work alongside technical specialists to see what might really work. Feasibility studies can be hard to understand, and often over-hype poor projects – we can help translate, and we’re not afraid to say if something doesn’t really add up.
Business planning. A lot of our work is in this area. Starting from tried and tested financial models we help groups to plan their project, to map out realistic timescales, and to find their way through the maze of regulations.
Society setup. We help Societies to set up using Rules from Co-operatives UK or our own Model Rules, train new Directors, and advise on bank accounts, VAT registration and other startup issues.
Share offers. Almost all the groups we work with eventually raise money though community share offers. We help to write, design, market and administrate share offers. We have been heavily involved in community share offers which have raised more than £6 million in total, with over 2,500 members.
Administration. One of the major impediments for relatively small groups can be administrating share offers, and then the ongoing daily and annual administration of their Society. We offer a comprehensive and well-priced admin service during the share offer period, and to established Societies covering member support, book-keeping and returns, AGM papers and more. For more details see our Sharenergy Admin Services document.
Landowner engagement. Community energy projects need to negotiate with land and building owners from private landowners to Local Authorities. We support groups from initial contact to the digning of Options and Leases and have our own proven legal models for solar PV, wind, hydro and heat projects.
Technical, Regulatory and Installation. Our strong technical background helps us to find and get the best out of external specialist providers and we have a strong network of paid and voluntary advisors.
Outreach. Sharenergy is closely involved in lobbying for the community energy sector. We frequently provide speakers to conferences or organisations who want to understand how they can work alongside community energy projects. We provide training, seminars and events for community energy practitioners.
Troubleshooting. Sharenergy is able to provide support to existing projects which have run into problems – we can help re-focus projects or, where necessary, to make the difficult decision to pull back and save energies for something more productive.