Energy Saving Co-operative Launches Share Issue

16th April, 2013

An ambitious co-operative set on drastically reducing household energy bills today launches a community share issue in order to expand the reach of its services
The Energy Saving Co-operative, which is already operating on a pilot basis in parts of the Midlands, is looking for the share offer, introduced with support from The Co-operative Enterprise Hub, to raise up to 700,000 with a minimum investment of just 500.

The co-operative aims to demystify the delivery of energy saving improvements to homes and community buildings by creating a one-stop-shop for advice, installation and fair finance.
The Energy Saving Co-operative believes that savings of 60% or more can be achieved at modest cost by using simple, established technologies as well as creating work for trusted, local tradespeople.
Ewan Jones, chief executive of the Energy Saving Co-operative, said:

"Despite soaring energy prices, UK homeowners are not yet making simple improvements that will make their homes warmer, more comfortable, and dramatically cut their fuel bills."

"The blockage is both trust and first-cost finance and the co-operative approach is perfect to help people negotiate both."

"The Energy Saving Co-operative brings together a co-operative partnership of building owners, community groups and local tradespeople to deliver straightforward advice and installation. We provide people with the power to save energy insulating homes, workplaces and community spaces from future energy price rises as well as the cold weather"

The multi-stakeholder co-operative is looking to encourage the widest possible membership and, in addition to social, environmental and community benefits, The Energy Co-operative aims to deliver a 6% annual return to investors with investments eligible for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).
The UK has seen a near 10% increase in the number of co-operative enterprises in the past two years, rising from 5,450 (in 2010) to approaching 6,000.
The Co-operative Group the UK's largest member-owned organisation - has committed a further 1m this year to developing its Co-operative Enterprise Hub service to provide the tools needed for community-owned enterprises across the UK to get off the ground or grow.

Michael Fairclough, The Co-operative Group's head of community and co-operative investment, said: "There is significant potential for community-owned energy initiatives to deliver local economic and social benefits, helping the UK to meet its energy needs and climate change goals while contributing to a step-change in people's thinking, and relationship, with energy."
For more information about the Energy Saving Co-operative and to download a copy of the share offer document visit www.energysaving.coop
Community groups wanting further information about the creation or growth of member-owned enterprises can contact The Co-operative Enterprise Hub by visiting co-operative.coop/enterprisehub

This article first appeared on The Guardian website


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