REPORT ON THE BWCE 2016 AGM
The AGM was held on Thursday 29 September at BRLSI it was attended by over 100 people, mainly members and bondholders with a small number of partners and interested parties.
WELCOME & REVIEW OF 2015/16
The meeting opened with the chair Pete Capener outlining BWCE’s major achievements over the financial year 2015/16, the challenges currently faced and our goals for 2016/17. A summary of this overview can be seen here.
In order to create additional resource to enable BWCE to deliver its work programme, Pete Capener announced Jane Stephenson was taking on the role of Chair, thereby enabling Pete to focus more on delivery as Executive Director. Jane is a long-standing non-executive director.
Mike Bess was re-elected unopposed as a non-executive director. David Bunker and Chris Crookall-Fallon have stepped down from the board as the Mongoose Energy representatives. Nick Johanson will be the new Mongoose Energy nominee on the board. David and Chris were thanked for their significant contribution to BWCE’s success over the years.
Details of the all the BWCE directors can be found here
Peter Capener summarised the financial results for the year ended March 2016 and referred to the audited accounts previously circulated to Members. These showed total recognised gains for the year after taking into account the revaluation of fixed assets of £124,359. Shareholders’ Funds are shown in the Balance Sheet at £5,136,249 and the group has Fixed Assets under management of £9,741,019.
Members were reminded that for those interested in an in-depth discussion around BWCE’s finances, we will be holding a special meeting on 2nd November at 7.00pm. If you wish to attend this meeting please contact Pete Capener as soon as possible on [email protected]
The proposals for interest payments to members (7%) and payments to BWCE’s community fund were approved by members. See here for details. Notice of interest payments will go out to members over the next few weeks. More information about the interest payments can be found here
There would this year be the facility for members, should they wish, to donate some or all of their interest in favour of the community fund.
The BWCE Fund is the independent charity that distributes the surplus generated by BWCE. In the year 2015/16, £45,000 was distributed to low carbon and fuel poverty projects. Peter Harvey the chair then introduced Nigel Gerdes from Climate Friendly Bradford on Avon and Janet Dabbs (in the photo) from Age UK (B&NES) who gave brief snapshots of how they spent the grants they received. Details of these and the other grants can be found here.
Following the approval of this year’s payment to the fund, Peter Harvey announced that the 2017 grant programme worth £30,000 for projects in the Bath and surrounding area was open for applications. More details of how to apply for grants can be found here.
The proposed changes to BWCE’s rules, relating to issuing different classes of shares, were approved (subject to a minor clarification). Background to the rule changes can be seen here and the revised rules can be found here.
Mongoose Energy and Energy Supply
It has always been part of BWCE’s vision that ultimately the energy we generate will be sold back to our members and others in and around our area. This was one of the main reasons that BWCE started and retains a stake in Mongoose Energy to make this vision a reality. This first stage has been to collaborate with Mongoose Energy in putting together an energy supply offer.
Adam Walton of Mongoose Energy then gave a presentation outlining the next steps towards this vision. Mongoose Energy now have all the contracts and team in place to go to Controlled Market Entry (CME) later this year. During CME, 250 people will become the first customers of Mongoose Energy so that systems can be proved prior to full launch early in 2017. Places have been reserved for 30 BWCE members to be part of the first wave of members of this radical and ground-breaking energy offer. The Mongoose website will be updated with more details next week. BWCE members can visit www.mongoose.energy from 17 October to register their interest in becoming a customer.
BWCE’s Business Planning
BWCE director Jeff Kenna set out some ideas for the future direction of BWCE. He pointed out that our vision had not changed significantly since we were founded and included, energy generation, supply and demand reduction. Increasingly we have more opportunities to further these goals as new technologies come to market, for example battery storage.
But we have key questions to face around the level of ambition we have in terms of pursuing our vision, which technologies do we seek to develop and implement in the future and how do we reach out and engage a far wider proportion of the communities that we work in.
An outline plan for the next 3-5 years is being prepared for the board to review. There would then be a members’ meeting in early 2017 so that members could have their say, with the final plan being adopted later in the year.
The following key papers for the AGM can be found at the links below:
- AGM notice and agenda
- Background to proposed rule change
- Copy of BWCE rules with changed rules highlighted in red
- Briefing on payment of member interest and community fund for 2015-2016
- Draft annual accounts for 2015-2016
- Background to BWCE finances and financial summary
The board will be adopting a ‘share withdrawals’ policy soon after the AGM. A draft of that policy is included with the AGM papers for your information, here. Whilst not strictly an AGM agenda item, as ever we are interested in the views of our members and will consider any comments within the drafting of the final policy document.