Community Energy England have three upcoming events to explore two very current areas impacting on the community energy sector.
The first two events take place on 18 March in Bristol and 30 March in London and look at the proposed changes to tax incentives for community energy and the registration and regulation of co-operatives. CEE have also produced a FAQ sheet on unblocking EIS/SITR and FCA registration which is available on our website.
The third event takes place on 22 April in Leeds and will help both communities and developers to examine how shared ownership could work for them.
More details on these events follow:
18 March, Foot Anstey LLP, Bristol
30 March, SGH Martineau LLP, London
Community benefit and co-operative societies are forms of social enterprise, ideally suited to democratising the energy sector and giving communities better control over their energy supply and usage. But they do carry risks to those who would save/invest in them.
The government’s Community Energy Strategy recognises the need of such social enterprises to be able to secure and retain the requisite financial resources.
The Chancellor’s decision to remove EIS (the Enterprise Investment Scheme) and replace it with SITR (Social Investment Tax Relief) reflects a legitimate desire to close a tax loophole that could be exploited by those which aren’t genuine community enterprises. The effects of his proposals, however, go much further because:
- The government does not intend to make community energy Co-operatives eligible for SITR;
- The Financial Conduct Authority is refusing to register any new community energy co-operatives and challenging the continued registration of established ones; and
- Recent statements from the FCA threaten the ability of community energy societies to raise the capital they will require.
These changes threaten the viability of the community energy sector, which the government wants to promote.
This event is to help you to understand these proposed changes, how they will impact your community group and the strategies to adopt until the situation is resolved. It will also summarise the steps your association has been taking to address these issues.
 This is particularly relevant in the energy sector, where large corporate suppliers have lost the trust of their customers, and the plans of commercial energy developers are viewed with increasing suspicion by local people.
 A recent consultation by the FCA suggests that investors in Community Benefit Societies are investing for ‘philanthropic’ reasons ‘with very little expectation’ of a financial return.
Shared Ownership Seminar
22 April Leeds, Bond Dickinson LLP
Developers and communities can meet together to explore how shared ownership can work for them. Speakers include representative of developers, community groups and DECC. The event covers:
- An overview and recommendations of the Shared Ownership Taskforce
- The experience from Europe – a developer’s perspective and experience
- The community perspective and experience
- We include plenty of time for questions and debate.
More details: http://communityenergyengland.org/events/scores_seminar/
Prices to attend
- £25 +VAT Community Members CEE
- £95 +VAT Corporate Members CEE
- £295 +VAT Non Members CEE