Bath & West Community Energy has been incorporated as an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) – Community Benefit Society.
As a Community Benefit Society or ‘BenCom’ we are radically different from an ordinary company in that our aims must be to benefit the wider community rather than just our own members. Social enterprises have traditionally favoured the ‘BenCom’ as a suitable legal structure which is attractive to ethical investors and which protects the founding principles and ethos of the business. For more information on Community Benefit Societies and how they differ from Cooperative Societies, another form of Industrial and Provident Society see here.
The main features of BWCE as an IPS are listed below.
- We are allowed to reward our members – or shareholders – by giving them interest on their shares.
- Membership of BWCE is based on shareholding which is open to anyone over the age of 16.
- Shares are valued at £1 each. The minimum shareholding is £500 and the maximum is £100,000, per member.
- The company is run democratically. Members have one vote regardless of the number of shares they own. One Member – One Vote
- Membership is governed by our rules which are available to view on request.
- We are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our registration number is 30960R