Community Shares 

In line with our co-operative principles, we will raise our funding by issuing community shares. Anyone who is interested in assisting in funding the installation of the solar panels may buy shares in our co-operative and so become a member.

Membership will allow shareholders to join the decision-making process of ‘Power for Good’. Each shareholder is entitled to one vote, irrespective of the number of shares that they buy.  This is the second Co-operative Principle.

We will be issuing a share offer document in the summer 2015. Anyone associated with the places of worship will be invited to buy shares, as well as any other people who would like to see community energy production develop in this way.   It will also be possible for a group to buy shares, such as the governing body of the places of worship.

For tax payers, community shares may qualify for tax relief of 30%.
  In order to be eligible, shareholders must be liable for income tax, and also not withdraw their shares for three years.  Power for Good will be applying to HMRC for advance assurance under the Social  Investment Tax Relief scheme.

In addition the shares may attract a return on investment payable as long as the shares are held in the co-operative,
subject to performance.  Most co-operatives would not offer a return in the first 2-3 years in order to try to build a reserve. This is a prudent policy to follow to ensure that there are no undue cash flow problems and the co-operative becomes a sustainable enterprise.

These shares are not subject to speculation as they cannot be traded or sold to third parties and do not increase in value. They can only be redeemed from the co-operative subject to funds being available for such redemption at the discretion of the directors.

Community shares are now widely used and there are many successful examples of co-ops that have used them to develop community energy generation. Examples include Southern Staffordshire Community Energy who have raised £54,000.

Another example is Leominster Community Solar who have raised the £150,725 they required. They report that
‘in fact the share offer was oversubscribed by over 40%’.

There is great enthusiasm for people from the community to come together to support and fund such developments and achieve benefits for the community, the environment and for themselves.