admin, Author at South East London Community Energy - Page 2 of 3

admin, Author at South East London Community Energy - Page 2 of 3

SELCE’s brainstorming weekend

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Barn demure bigAfter the success of SELCE’s first community share offer, the co-op’s directors and volunteers started 2016 with a brainstorming weekend in Kent. Our aim was to discuss a range of projects that we could develop over the medium term.

Sadly, the Chancellor’s recent decision to reduce subsidies for solar energy means that we need to look at new business models if we want to continue developing community energy projects and reducing fuel poverty in SE London.

The really good news is that SELCE ‘pre-accredited’ eight local community buildings before the subsidy cuts were introduced. This means that we’ll be able to launch a second solar-based community share offer (with annual interest payments of around 4% to investors) later this year.

Meanwhile, new projects considered during the brainstorming weekend included: a permanent energy advice shop and cafe; a business plan based on improving water use efficiency in schools and community buildings; and setting up a solar-powered car club for SE London.

Based in a picturesque, if rather chilly, Georgian barn, the SELCE team went through the pros and cons of each of the nine ideas on the table as well as fine-tuning SELCE’s structure and governance. We also took some time out for a walk through the Kentish countryside and a quick visit to the local pub.

The photo below shows nearly all of the team (somehow we failed to get any photos of the entire crew together). Incidentally, the barn was so cold when we arrived that we spent our first two sessions dressed in overcoats, hats and gloves. The barn’s owner declined our offer of expert advice on heat insulation but, mercifully, she did provide us with two extra heaters.

Big thanks to everyone who came along for making the weekend so fun and productive.

£250,000 raised in first SELCE share offer

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The beginning of a beautiful friendship….

2015 ended on a real high for SELCE following the successful completion of our first share offer. We’re hugely appreciative of the vision shown by everyone who has contributed to making SELCE’s solar project a reality.

Over the past year we’ve had some nail-biting moments as we worked our way through the complex legal process of bringing five different parties together (councils, school governors, installers, solicitors and SELCE itself) – against extremely tight deadlines and an ever-changing political landscape.

However, thanks to the 138 investors who have joined the SELCE community, we hit our funding target of £250,000. And since the close of the share offer, we haven’t wasted any time. Solar panels have now been installed on all four of our partner schools. The photo below is of one of SELCE’s directors, Simon Quamie, overseeing the installations.  Now we’re busy preparing for our second solar share offer which will be launched Simon on roofat the beginning of the summer. Watch this space.

 

Huge thanks to everyone who has supported SELCE

We would particularly like to thank all the individuals and organisations who have provided invaluable support along the way to our first solar installations.

If we listed everyone who has stuck their neck out on our behalf and contributed something to the project, the list would take up several pages. But special mention must go to (in no particular order): The team at Greenwich Co-operative Development Agency which has supported SELCE from the beginning at no charge; Chris Benbow and Henry Sheldon from Ashurst solicitors who have provided us with untiring and excellent legal representation on a pro-bono basis; all of the officers at Lewisham Council and Royal Greenwich who have, in various ways, gone above and beyond the call of duty and, in particular, Martin O’Brien (Lewisham) and Heather Yedigarov (Royal Greenwich), and the legal and property teams.

Huge thanks also goes to all the members of staff at our partner schools with particular thanks to Julie Loftstadd and Verity Wakelium (Horniman School), Sean O’Flynn, Julia Costello and Angelo Lione (Ashmead School), David Dixon and Dermot Hughes (Mulgrave School), Mark Dale Emberton and Caroline O’Shea (Charlton Park Academy); and our installers, GHG Energy, who have battled against fierce winds and driving rain to complete the installation and consistently provided excellent advice.

Thanks also to our local politicians and mayors, in particular Lewisham’s mayor Sir Steve Bullock, and cllr Paul Upex and to Royal Greenwich’s mayor Norman Adams and cllrs John Fahy and Harpinder Singh; to those organisations who supported us and, in particular, Alex Germanis (Pure Leapfrog), Harriet Sansom (Centre for Sustainable Energy), Will Cottrell (Brighton Energy Co-op), Benn Dodd (Community Shares Unit), and the team at Co-ops London.

Thanks too to those organisations that helped us to spread the word about our share offer, in particular: 10:10, SE2, the Energy Saving Trust, Project Dirt, Demand Energy Equality, We Care, The Greenwich Green Party and Quaker Peace and Justice; all the directors, advisors, volunteers of SELCE (you know who you are) who have pulled together as a team and who, together, contributed over 4000 hours of unpaid work. And, of course, many thanks to you, our members.

Don’t delay, invest today: only a few days left

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share offerWe’ve had a fantastic response to our share offer and we’re well on the way to reaching our target of £250,000. A big thank you to everyone who has already invested.

Our question and answer session at the Novotel in Greenwich on October 15th attracted a lot of interest and it was great to meet so many new supporters. Huge thanks to the Green Kite Midnight Ceilidh Band for getting us up and dancing afterwards. If you haven’t yet got around to investing, please don’t delay.

One of the potential investors who came to the Q&A event made a very good point: she told us that she’d tried to become a shareholder with a similar community energy project in East London but that she had left it to the last minute – only to discover the there were no shares left because a couple of investors had snapped up all the remaining ones a week before the closing date.

If you have already invested in our project, welcome to the SELCE community! We would also really appreciate it if you would continue to spread the word about the share offer to friends and family. We’ve reached £100,000 already and we’re committed to raising enough solar funds for all four of our partner schools.

Here are five reasons to become a SELCE shareholder:

A unique opportunity that may not be repeated:  SELCE will only be able to offer 30% tax relief to investors for our first share offer.  After that, proposed changes in government policy means that we will  probably have to re-shape our business model.

A fantastic Christmas present for yourself or a child:  SELCE shares are the gift that keeps on giving. Not only are you investing in a greener, fairer future for SE London but SELCE intends to pay you 4% annual interest on your initial investment for 20 years. If you are a UK tax payer, you will almost certainly be able to claim the 30% tax relief as well. Investors need to be over 16 to but you can nominate a child and the shares will become theirs when they are 16.

A great way to enhance your kids’ education fund: because we are encouraging investors to stay with us over the long term, the SELCE project is a useful way of committing cash until your kids are ready to go to university  – while receiving a competitive interest rate.

A great legacy for your family: SELCE shares are exempt from inheritance tax, so you can pass them on in your will and they won’t lose any of their value.

A real stride towards a better future: we have estimated that our first project will save around 94 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions each year. Meanwhile our four ‘partner’ primary schools will save about £358,000 in electricity costs over 20 years – so they will have extra cash to spend on the things they really need.

Don’t forget, the minimum investment is £250 and the maximum is £20,000.SELCE 1st community share offer  small

And, most important of all, the closing date is Wednesday November 11th.

For more detailed information please visit www.selce.org.uk phone us on 02082694882 to invest with us directly or go straight to the Microgenius website and sign up today.

Please note: this share offer is NOT effected by proposed changes to the Feed in Tariff.

Winners of the M&S Energy Competition – Judges Innovation Prize

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WE WON!

It was a close run thing… for weeks we were neck and neck in the race for first place in the M&S Community Energy Competition. Unfortunately we were pipped at the post and left trying our best to be honourable third place holders! However, we later received a very exciting email advising that we had been selected as the winner of the Judges Innovation Prize and we are over the moon.

We and our partners get to build this wonderful solar generator to take to community events.

We will have a renewables roadshow!

renewable roadshow

EBICO funding helps SELCE offer impartial face to face energy advice

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EBICO funding helps SELCE offer impartial face to face energy advice in their pop-up People Power cafes in Greenwich and Lewisham with a free cup of tea and a slice of café & LED bulb

Come along to South East London Community Energy’s ‘People Power Cafés’ and get expert advice on how to improve your energy efficiency and reduce your fuel bills.

Pheonix_066 smallYour neighbour is probably paying less than you for electricity and gas – so come and find out how SELCE’s advisors can help to keep you warm this winter over a cup of tea and a slice of cake (or something just as nice).

Thanks to funding from the EBICO Energy Trust, SELCE is delighted to announce that it will be running bi-weekly energy advice cafes for the next four months.

The cafes will be hosted at The Green Man café every Monday from 10am to 4.30pm and every Thursday at the Woolwich Common Community Centre from 10am to 4.30pm until the beginning of December.

During December and January we are looking for other venues In Greenwich and Lewisham to host the People Power Cafes – so if you have any suggestions please get in touch.

The cafes will offer personalised, independent, face-to-face advice on how to get the best deal from energy suppliers, make your home more energy efficient and tackle energy debts.

We particularly want to provide assistance to older people, households with young children, people with disabilities or long-term health problems and those on low incomes.

Everyone who receives a consultation will get a FREE hot drink and piece of cake together with an energy saving light bulb worth £7.

gi energy adviceJoin us at:

The Green Man
355 Bromley Road
London SE6 2RP

Every Monday from Monday 12th October to Monday 7th December 10.00am – 4.30pm

and

Woolwich Common Community Centre
16 Leslie Smith Square
London SE18 4DW

Every Thursday from Thursday 15th October to Thursday 10th December 10.00am -4.30pm

Just drop-in for a consultation or to book a time. Alternatively, call SELCE on 07468 231 204 or 0208 2694882 to book ahead.

For further information, contact Alex Hartley at alex@selce.org.uk
Twitter @SELonCommEnergy @alexharteco #peoplepowercafe
Facebook.com/SouthEastLondonCommunityEnergy

Become a shareholder in SELCE’s first project!

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SELCE 1st community share offer 654 smallLess than 18 months after its formation, South East London Community Energy (SELCE) is ready to offer you the chance to become a shareholder in its first project.

We’re aiming to raise £250,000 to provide solar panels for four local primary schools: Ashmead and Horniman Schools in Lewisham and Mulgrave and Charlton Park Academy in Greenwich.

So what’s in it for you?

  • We intend to pay our investors 4% interest per year on their shares
  • You may be eligible for 30% tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme
  • Shares may be exempt from inheritance tax if they are held for more than 2 years

And what about the community and the planet?

Mulgrave_Mayor_Alex_kids3 smallSELCE’s solar arrays will save more than 94 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year while the schools themselves will save an estimated £358,000 in electricity costs over the 20 year project – enabling them to spend more money on the thing they do best, teach!

SELCE launched its community share offer at Mulgrave Primary School in Woolwich on the 30th September and we were joined by the Mayor of Greenwich, Norman Adams, Greenwich Council’s deputy leader, Cllr John Fahy and staff from Lewisham council and Royal Borough of Greenwich and school govenors.

The photos above show our launch and some of Mulgrave’s Eco Team pupils holding cards which formed the words, ‘Invest in our future’.

The share offer is open to anyone over 16 and runs for six weeks until midnight on Wednesday 11th November.

As well as paying interest and returning capital to investors, we aim to produce £90,000 of surplus over the life of the project. This will be used to expand the work we already do to reduce fuel poverty in South East London.

SELCE 1st community share offer smallThe government is threatening to dramatically reduce the feed-in tariff subsidy that is paid to renewable energy providers – so it is unlikely that we will be able to offer such an attractive share package with our future projects. (This and our next offer should be secure thanks to our pre-accreditation measures).

And with ISAs and high street bank savings accounts currently providing minimal interest, investing in SELCE is a way to provide you and SE London with a brighter future.

If you’d like to learn more about investing in SELCE’s solar project – including the risks and benefits – please download a brochure and application form.

Alternatively you can call us direct on 020 8269 4882 to ask questions directly or request a hard copy of our brochure.

As with all investments, our shares could lose some, or all, of their value and they are not protected by the Government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service.

More information can be found on this website or from the Microgenius investment platform http://www.microgenius.org.uk/project/south-east-london-community-energy-39
We would like to give huge thanks to all of our partners, advisors and supporters and we look forward to welcoming new investors and members.

A Reel for Renewables: SELCE Share Offer and Ceilidh

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You are invited to attend:

A Reel for Renewables: SELCE Share Offer and Ceilidh

Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 7:00 PM10:30 PM

Reel for Renewables

SELCE are very pleased to confirm that we are launching our first community share offer on 30th September 2015. To allow potential supporters and investors the opportunity to find out more face to face, rather than just by phone, email, social media or coming in to the office we will be holding a Question and Answer session on the evening of Thursday 15th October. This will have given potential investors two weeks to digest our shiny new share offer document (digital version is more environmentally friendly but we are printing some as well!).

7pm A presentation about our share offer opportunity followed by a Q&A
7.45pm Our turn to listen. Tell us what you think SELCE should do next
8.15pm Ceilidh with the talented Green Kite Ceilidh Band. No experience is necessary – just come along, have fun and support a good cause.

Any donations for the event given on the night will go towards our community work tackling fuel poverty.

We are pleased to confirm that the Novotel Greenwich will be our venue, whom have been most kind in providing discounted space for the evening including a separate bar area and space for convivial conversations, a seated area outside and their main naturally-lit function room. It is situated right next to Greenwich mainline station and DLR and on many bus routes so hopefully easy to get to for most South East Londoners, even those of you from further afield. All will be welcome.

Best wishes
The SELCE team

Venue:

Novotel Greenwich
185 Greenwich High Rd
Greenwich
London, Gt Lon SE10 8JA

Book your tickets here: Eventbrite: A Reel for Renewables

Vote for SELCE and get our ‘solar trailer’ on the road!

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South East London Community Energy has come up with a wheely good idea.

We want to drive home the benefits of solar power with a specially-designed ‘solar trailer’ that can be used at local fairs, fun-days and festivals in Greenwich and Lewisham.

VOTE FOR US AT https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/project/27498/

As well as providing free, clean energy, the trailer would be staffed by SELCE volunteers who could provide information about how solar works and the different ways it can be used.

The trailer will also give us a great opportunity to spread the word about our work on tackling fuel poverty and helping local primary schools to reduce their energy bills with solar power.

Help us to win the M&S Energy Competition so that we can build our trailer! To win we need you to vote for us so please follow this link https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/project/27498/

MandScompHave a look at our short presentation to see what our colourful, information-packed, solar trailer would look like.

Say goodbye to dirty, smelly diesel generators.

Give us the green light and vote for SELCE’s solar trailer.

Plug in to SELCE – make your voice count!

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What makes community energy different? You do! Yes YOU: the person sat there reading this blog post. It’s you that makes community energy exciting and vibrant. The best community energy projects respond to the needs and aspirations of local residents.

To be just that we need to know more about what you would like from us – your local community energy group. It’s for this reasons that would like you to fill our a survey reflecting on what we’re currently doing and what you would like to see us do in the future. This will help us to plan our programme of activities going forward.

It will only take you 5 minutes. Help us to be the plugged-in community energy project that South East London deserves!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YOURENERGYCOOP

SELCE spreads the word at summer fairs

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Charlton Community Day
SELCE has been attending various community events such as Lewisham People’s Day as part of their extra engaging with the community work. On Sunday 19th July SELCE attended the Charlton Community Day in the grounds of Charlton House. The event was organised by Global Fusion Music & Arts.

Alex Hartley running the South East London Community Energy stall at Charlton Community Day in Charlton Park.

Alex Hartley running the South East London Community Energy stall at Charlton Community Day in Charlton Park.

There were free workshops in drumming, dance, mask making, jewellery making, juggling, massage and yoga. Plus SELCE’s Alex joined in with the Tai Chi flashmob. SELCE wholly support GFMA’s ethos of using creativity to build confidence.

During the day we were asking the public what they thought about sustainable energy and what they thought SELCE’s priorities should be regards the share offer and resulting profits. The findings will contribute to a wider consultation that SELCE is carrying out in the community. Please get in touch if you are involved with any local events that we could come along to.We will be attending more community events like Party in the Park in Deptford on the 5th September.

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