Thinking about investing in Glasgow Community Energy?
Want to find out more?
Please register via the Zoom links below, and we look forward to seeing you there!
Please register via the Zoom links below, and we look forward to seeing you there!
After nearly six years in the making, we’re so excited to be finally launching our Community Share Offer, with this beautiful film by James Alcock made on site at Glendale Primary School last October.
No doubt aside from Coronavirus, the climate crisis is very much in the headlines thanks to significant efforts to increase climate literacy in schools, communities, workplaces and Government. But this is more than headlines, the tangible impacts of climate change are being felt around the world as the adverse effects of our human activities continue unabated. Negatives aside, Glasgow Community Energy are committed to empowering people from all walks of life to be engaged, informed and share what they learn with others in the hope that the collective action of many people can transform our communities and restore our planet.
Our programme of outreach is very diverse, but we start with engaging with schools, where we have provided more than 15 solar energy workshops to date. Our hope is to encourage the next generation of climate conscious thinkers by exploring the nature of energy access in developing countries and how energy can be used to improve our lives. It’s wonderful to see young people questioning their understanding of the world through the hands-on sessions and passionately pursuing STEM subjects. We’re always looking for invites to more schools so do get in touch!
We have also participated in Climate Conversations (a government initiative to help communities grapple with the challenges of creating a more sustainable world) and hope to facilitate more this year.
Some of you will be aware of the upcoming COP26 (UN Climate Change Conference) in November this year which will be held in Glasgow. Glasgow Community Energy will be involved in the Year of Climate Action in the lead up to COP26, as we hope to educate and inspire others whilst encouraging local policy makers to champion environmental action. This year is highly significant as it marks a point at which societal pressure, political will and economic development need to align if we are to achieve the goals set out by the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and meet new Net Zero Emissions targets. We’d encourage anyone to find out more about the COP26 and get involved!
Our climate crisis is an emergency, but it is not a quick fix. If we want to guarantee the welfare of generations to come, we need a sustained commitment, where everyone has a part to play.
Guest blog by Calum Watkins
Director, Glasgow Community Energy
Financing community projects can seem daunting at first. Projects with several stages and different amounts of funding will require a significant amount of advance planning to make sure the project is feasible, but thankfully there are various different options to help aid this process and financially support local projects.
There are several government level grants and loans specifically designed to help fund community based projects. Keeping a look out for local financing opportunities is a good idea, as many councils have set aside pots of money for this purpose. Any applications should be carefully reviewed, as there are an excess of projects requiring funding at any given point.
There are many sources of finance to help support community energy specifically. Glasgow Community Energy is a community solar energy project and GCE has received funding through various different methods. This has included a Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) grant through the Green Economy Fund, a fund supported by Scottish Power to specifically work with smaller communities and provide access to funding for projects that may have struggled to finance otherwise.
GCE were also successful in applying for a CARES loan. CARES is the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy scheme that was created to provide financial support to local energy projects. The CARES scheme includes an Enablement Grant of up to £25k, designed to get renewable energy projects off the ground, funding start-up costs such as feasibility analysis and community consultation. The CARES Development Loan is then available to take forward these plans created in the initial stages, including a write off facility to mitigate development risks. Finally, the CARES Innovation Grant is available to help progress particularly innovative community energy projects. This is managed by Local Energy Scotland, who also provide advice, toolkits, case studies and other online resources for communities.
In addition, GCE is working in conjunction with Energy4All, a non-profit organisation that helps to fund local energy projects. Energy4All have helped to develop 27 community energy projects, with more in the pipeline. They create co-operatives by working with communities to develop renewable energy projects. Energy4All provide help and support all the way through the project by helping applying for funding, finance modelling, hiring a project manager and issuing a share offer to raise the capital required for the project to be successful. Local people invest by buying shares and receive annual interest payments in return. This effectively means that the members, those who have invested, therefore own the project. In theory, once the capital is paid off the project will at this point be making money. Along with some regular maintenance costs, the fees will be paid and the interest paid off to the members, the remaining profit is issued to deserving local projects. This is known as a community benefit fund. A good example of an Energy4All project is the Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative. People from across the UK invested over 1.4 million to install PV solar panels on 24 different buildings across Edinburgh. Every year this generates 1.1 GWh of clean renewable electricity, saving over 1000 tons of carbon dioxide. Through Edinburgh’s community benefit funds, the co-operative have already supported five different local projects.
Guest blog by Zoe Dickson
Director, Glasgow Community Energy
With 2020 well under way and everything from Brexit to COP26 on the agenda, we thought our next Glasgow Community Energy blog post should come from one of our newest partners, DMG Environmental Consultancy. A Glasgow-based business committed to helping businesses meet their sustainability goals who we’ll be working with later in the year when our Community Share Offer launches. Take a read as Founder, Daniel shares his top three tips on how businesses can work with community groups.
Supporting community organisations may feel like a drain on your company finances or time, or both. However, there are significant benefits to forming strong, social and holistic partnerships with your businesses’ local community.
Community organisations can make a real difference in the area your business operates. By supporting them you not only build your local business network but also build community loyalty to your business. In the minds of many local people supporting community projects means supporting the community, making them more likely to support you when you need it most.
Having your business recognised as part of the community gives you a lasting legacy in your area and can make you more successful. Gaining recognition and support from the local community can take years for businesses to build up. Partnering with community organisations fast-tracks this process and increases the longevity of your business.
Partnering with a community organisation that focuses on renewable energy, rewilding, tree planting or any other climate positive activity generally has a double benefit. Every business can make significant changes that reduce their climate impact. However, many businesses will still produce some emissions from their activities, even after adaptation. This is where offsetting comes in.
Offsetting is a process where a company can invest in a project that reduces emissions (e.g. a community renewables or reforestation organisation), contributing to the fight against climate change. That company can then use this reduction in emissions to counteract (or offset) their own remaining emissions, bringing them closer to net-zero carbon emissions or even making them carbon positive (preventing more carbon from entering the atmosphere than they emit).
This gives the company the double benefit of improving their Corporate Social Identity, showing their commitment to ethical and trust standards, as well as protecting the environment and allowing the company to tap into the growing number of climate-conscious customers.
The community often has a double benefit from this partnership as well. In the case of community renewable energy projects an aspect of urban or community regeneration can be included and the profits from the renewable electricity produced will support further community projects.
Partnering with community organisations can differentiate your business from your competitors. 89% of consumers think businesses should support charities and their local communities and 82% said they would choose a company engaged with its community when deciding on equivalent products or services over one that is not.
Supporting your local community can also improve employee engagement – and engaged staff means a more efficient, profitable business. Many individuals want to volunteer or raise money for charity, but don’t have the time in their busy schedules. Offering your employees the opportunity to do this as part of their work is very fulfilling and can increase engagement, employee retention and workplace happiness.
Find a project that inspires you and reap all of the personal and business benefits that come with supporting what you believe in. When companies support communities both become better places to live, work and do business.
To find out how to offset your emissions by working with Glasgow Community Energy get in touch and let’s work together to make business and communities come together for good.
Guest blog by Daniel Musenga-Grant
Director, DMG Environmental Consultancy
We’ve been developing the Glasgow Community Energy project over the last four years as a community-led solution addressing the climate emergency. Inspired by the successful Edinburgh Community Solar Co-operative, launched in 2015, Glasgow Community Energy is a new community-owned renewable energy co-operative for the city of Glasgow. Over the next few months, we plan to install solar panels on the roofs of up to nine large public/private buildings across the city and to launch a ‘Community Share Offer’ so that people all over Glasgow can get involved.
In April 2019, Scotland’s First Minister declared a ‘climate emergency’, recognising the urgent need to decarbonise our economy in order to fight climate change. On 16 May 2019, Glasgow City Council also voted to declare a ‘climate emergency’, and on 26 September 2019 the Council’s City Administration Committee approved the Recommendations of its Climate Emergency Working Group, which brought forward the city’s target for carbon neutrality from 2037 to 2030. Recommendation 4.5 explicitly supports the Glasgow Community Energy project, stating that:
Local communities should be able to invest in low carbon solutions through mechanisms such as co-operative business models. There is a good opportunity to develop partnerships which will enable residents to support renewable energy in the city and to get local benefit from these resources. We recommend that the Council’s business support and planning services are made available to support community investment in renewable energy, including the Glasgow Community Energy Co-operative.
Glasgow Community Energy has a key role to play in our city’s efforts to urgently decarbonise. Once up and running, we aim to generate up to 320,000kWh/year of clean, green energy for Glasgow saving us 82 tonnes of carbon every year. But because we are a co-operative, we are also helping fulfil the Council’s aim to ‘devolve power to residents’. Our project is founded on the seven co-operative principles, which will ensure it remains an open and inclusive initiative that anyone can join and get involved.
Please do join our newsletter so that you can be the first to hear when our ‘Community Share Offer’ is launched and to find out about other exciting ways to get involved.
Chair, Glasgow Community Energy
We’re into the final week of our Community Share Offer 🌞 We’ve raised more than two-thirds of our £30k target!
Don’t miss your chance to invest and join Glasgow’s first community-owned renewable energy co-operative before the deadline on Friday 18 June 2021 📝 Sign up at glasgowenergy.coop/shareoffer ... See MoreSee Less
8 days to go - £ 21,604 raised towards our £30k target! 💷 Can you chip in?
Don’t miss your chance to join Glasgow’s first community-owned renewable energy co-operative before our Community Share Offer closes next Friday 18 June 🌞 glasgowenergy.coop/shareoffer🌞 Don’t miss your chance to join Glasgow’s new community-owned renewable energy co-operative!
📝 Sign up before our Community Share Offer closes on 18 June 2021 glasgowenergy.coop ... See MoreSee Less