BWCE opens new share offer

To all those who have been asking how they can become a member of BWCE or when they can buy more shares, we are delighted to be able to finally open our latest share offer. See here to review and download the share offer document. You can see more information about the share offer on our website here

Please get involved if you can. Help us do our bit to reduce our collective impact and, through positive action, add your voice to creating the political space for our leaders to implement the ambitious response to climate change and energy security we desperately need.

As well as making a clear statement of support for what we are trying to achieve, becoming a member of BWCE will also provide you with the opportunity to get involved in a not-for-profit community enterprise, democratically run by its members based on one member one vote. An organisation that is committed to carbon reduction and delivering community benefit, whilst still offering a fair rate of interest to its members and investors.

BWCE Supporters Network meeting March 21st

Our Supporters Network engages BWCE members and non-members alike in reaching out to the wider community to mobilise more people around community energy and climate change action. Our two working groups (CoCO and Technology) have been meeting regularly to develop various activities including information briefings, stories of success, visual displays, educational workshops, public events and research into local use of renewable energy technology.

Our next Supporters Network meeting will take place:
Thursday 21st March 2019
6.30 to 8.30pm
Friends Meeting House, York Street, Bath BA1 1NG

As well as a session on Climate Conversations we will be hearing about the ideas coming out of the working groups and providing you with a chance to support these activities. In addition, we will be discussing how we can all promote the new BWCE share offer to provide a chance for as many people as possible to invest in community energy.

For more information on the Supporters Network contact [email protected] or call 07517 100889.

Climate Conversations workshop

On Thursday 31st January, despite the arrival of snow, 30 people attended our ‘Taking the Heat out of Climate Conversations’ workshop at the Museum of Bath at Work. Guided by facilitators Susan Johnson (Zero West) and Paul Hoggett (Climate Psychology Alliance) we explored how to have more positive climate conversations with friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues.

 

 

It was a practical workshop, mixing small group conversations with input on psychological theory to help us explore the resistances and ethical dilemmas we encounter when trying to talk about climate change.

An online platform has been set up to enable participants to continue to share experiences and the topic will be re-visited at our next Supporters Network meeting on 21st March 2019.

New community owned asset management business – Bright Renewables

BWCE’s asset management services have transferred to Bright Renewables, a new business wholly owned by its community clients. Bright Renewables acquired Mongoose Energy’s asset management business with financial support from Community Owned Renewable Energy LLP which is funded by social investors Power to Change and Big Society Capital.  Mongoose Energy will be wound up in due course, once it completes the sale of its assets and settles any remaining obligations.

The first clients and owners of Bright Renewables are all former Mongoose Energy members, including BWCE, but new community clients will be joining shortly. Mongoose Energy’s asset management staff also transferred over to the new business.

We are delighted to be part of this new community owned enterprise. Becoming 100% community owned was always part of the Mongoose Energy plan. We are pleased to see that vision coming to fruition.

Celebrating the BWCE Community Fund

On the evening of Monday 28th January 17 Bath area community projects which have received funding through the Bath & West Community Energy Fund plus BWCE Fund trustees, BWCE trustees and Quartet Community Foundation staff joined the Mayor and Mayoress of Bath in the Mayor’s Parlour in the Guildhall to celebrate the achievements of the fund.

 

This year 11 community organisations have been awarded over £31,000 for projects ranging from improving the energy efficiency of community buildings, sharing and repairing items, promoting the use of electric bikes, recycling, reducing the use of plastic bottles and planting a community orchard.

You can read an article about the Community Fund in the Bath Echo here

You can find out about all the projects funded in 2019 here

Our Partnership with Our Power comes to an end

As many of you will have seen in the press, Our Power, our local energy supply partner, has ceased trading. We heard about this when it was first made public. See here for Our Power’s announcement on their website. We were deeply disappointed and saddened that our partnership with Our Power, to supply electricity from our projects to local people, has come to an end in this way.

Ofgem have just issued a press release announcing that Our Power customers have been transferred to Utilita, see here, though people can switch away to someone else if they wish. Ofgem also provides answers to common questions and advice about what to do, including switching, here. Contact details for further information can be found in the links provided and/or the email from Utilita for those that have been directly affected.

We still believe in the approach to supplying local energy that we developed with Our Power and B&NES Council, and over the coming months we will explore how best we can continue to deliver local power to local people.

Signed
The BWCE Board