Round-up of the year

Keynsham Community Energy might have been quiet over the past twelve months, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy! So, what have we been up to?

We welcomed a fifth director – Nick Coates – into the fold and have had a number of Directors’ meetings to move our proposed projects on. We’ve held a meeting of our wider membership and welcomed some new people interested in community energy.

We’ve worked closely with Bath and North East Somerset Council on a proposed community-owned rooftop solar project in Keynsham. And as a result of our good relationship with B&NES we have signed a memorandum of understanding with them. This means that going forward we can work with the Council to identify, plan and deliver community owned renewable energy projects in Keynsham for our residents’ benefits.

We’ve also been working with Simon Day of SOS Design Consultancy to develop our new website, and we’re delighted with the result! We’d like to thank Simon for volunteering his time and expertise.

What’s on the cards for KCE in the next twelve months?

We will carry on working with B&NES on our community-owned solar array project which will begin in earnest in 2020. We’ll be putting together a community share offer for this opportunity and will be able to share more details in the New Year.

We will hold our AGM in the New Year, which will be a chance for us to catch up with old friends and make new ones. We’ll also be voting in new Directors, so if you’re interested in becoming either a member or a Director, get in touch with us.

As well as working up a rooftop solar project, our members are also very keen to develop a hydro scheme on the river locally. This is potentially doable – we’ve done a feasibility study – but it requires a lot of hard work and commitment. So, if anyone reading this is up for getting involved, we’d love to hear from you!

KCE follows the tried-and-tested model of community energy companies in the UK. The principle is that funds are raised locally in the form of a share offer to pay for a project, and then shareholders are paid a dividend (usually around 5%) annually. Any profits over this are ploughed back into the community, usually via a community fund that helps people to make their homes warmer or tackle fuel poverty in other ways.