Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) has recently been extended. But it does not cover community energy projects. It ought to! – so we are asking supporters to lobby your local MP on this!

Please use this letter, adapt it to add your local context, and of course your name and address at the end. Personalising it and adapting it as much as possible is important because the letter is likely to be forwarded to the same desks in the Treasury.

You can search for your MPs name and contact details here

Please remember to copy in d.law@communityenergy.org at Community Energy England.

Subject: SITR and community energy

Dear {Insert name of local MP}

I write as a supporter of {insert name of local community energy project/s}. Community energy is an absolutely vital component in engaging the consent and participation of the wider public in the urgent energy transition (without which, as the Committee on Climate Change makes clear, we will fail to achieve Net Zero) as well as inventing and delivering local climate solutions and social benefits.

I am writing to ask you to support the reform of Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), and in particular to expand its scope to include community energy projects.

Pioneering projects made good use of Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) and Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax reliefs in order to get innovative models off the ground. These projects were supported by members of the public. Tax reliefs reduced their risk and enable much wider participation.

Community energy eligibility to receive EIS and SEIS Tax Relief was removed in 2015 on the basis that energy production was subsidised. That is no longer the case. Community energy projects are inherently risky and we urgently need access to tax reliefs to put in place the next generation of community energy projects.  SITR is the natural home for tax relief for not-for-profit low carbon initiatives.

We welcome the extension granted to SITR in the 2021 Budget.  I’d be grateful if you would ask the Chancellor and Treasury ministers to also reform SITR so it can fulfil its potential. SITR has failed to match expectations, raising only around £10m to date, because it contained so many restrictions on the basic principles of social investment, and excluded so many key and dynamic activities (such as tackling climate change).

We await the response to the consultation on the scope of SITR  At the very least it should be extended to include community energy.

Community Energy England’s SITR consultation response is here: https://s.coop/2kfpj. They are copied in to this email and can provide more background information and detailed suggestions for reforms.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

{Insert name and postal address (essential for them to act)}