I’ve written a guest blog for the Chamber of Commerce. The blog; “How we went from an idea on the back of an envelope to Sussex’s largest community energy scheme” tells the story of Brighton Energy Coop since I first got involved in August 2010 – nearly 2 years ago!
It’s been a fascinating experience, I’ve learned more than I ever thought I’d need to know about renewable energy! But I’ve also learned the nity gritty about FITs, raising money from communities, legal structures, and the tax treatment of a new niche industry.
There’s been two key highlights for me:
I’ve helped create an organisation where the social and environmental benefits are just as important as the financial ones. That’s the reason I’ve bought £400 of shares and provided nearly £5,000 of free work to the Co-op.
Second, it’s been a fantastic opportunity to work with inspiring people, and together we’ve enabled members of our community to take action — to install renewable energy in our city, which our community owns.
Brighton Energy Coop has raised £120,000, with work underway at Shoreham Port. But the Coop is looking for a further £65,000 to complete the first portfolio of solar installations. Have a read, and get involved.