Ethical energy provider, Co-operative Energy has agreed a partnership with low carbon co-operative, Gen Community,which will allow customers to own a share of their energy supplier and invest directly in their local energy generator.
Gen Community, a community benefit society, has been set-up to develop and invest in low-carbon energy projects in low-income areas across the UK. The first offer, the Newport Solar Share Issue, aims to raise £1 million to install solar PV on 240 homes in fuel poverty. At the start of February 2013, the first successful installations were commissioned.
The partnership between the two co-operatives means that investing members of Gen Community will be able to invest in decentralised low carbon energy generation, with a projected 7% annual rate of return. Members will also be able to own a share of the supplier that delivers power to their homes, completing the chain of end-to-end mutual ownership.
Customers of the Newport Solar Share Issue who sign-up to Co-operative Energy will receive £25 off their first bill, plus the energy provider will donate a further £25 to a designated charity specialising in fuel poverty.
Nigel Mason of Co-operative Energy said: “The partnership with Gen Community has many benefits. It means we’re helping to tackle climate change by encouraging solar power. In addition we’re supporting the local economy and easing the burden of those in fuel poverty.”
Andy Heald of Gen Community said: “Co-operative Energy has a simple tariff plan, is competitively priced and is mutually owned. It’s a great feeling to think that generation of electricity, supply and export can all be mutually owned if the benefit members of Gen Community choose to switch to Co-operative Energy.”
Co-operative Energy successfully sourced one hundred per cent of its electricity from renewable generators in its first year.