AGM records by year

AGM 2020

BWCE’s 2020 AGM was held on 12th September via Zoom (due to the Covid-19 pandemic) with over 50 members, bondholders and interested observers.  With 2020 marking the 10-year anniversary of the launch of BWCE, we enter our second decade (a crucial one for humanity) with many new renewable energy projects and new approaches to expanding our community energy model under development.

Many thanks as always to everyone who has taken part in BWCE activities over the year, from those volunteering as part of our supporters network, those attending BWCE meetings and events or getting involved in BWCE projects, our volunteer board members and those who have invested in BWCE during the year. We look forward to doing it all again but bigger and better next year!

We would like to particularly thank board members who are standing down this year, Jon Bateman (board member for 6 years) and Jeff Kenna (co-founder). Both have put a lot into BWCE over the years, but Jeff as a co-founder of BWCE and our first MD deserves special mention. We would not be the organisation we are now without his expertise and knowledge. Thanks Jeff. We would also like to welcome Chris Crookall-Fallon back to the board after a time away doing great things and also congratulate Jolyon Orchard on his re-election to the board. Jane Stephenson announced she would be standing down as chair at the next AGM, so we have a year to fill her not inconsiderable boots.

The AGM saw presentations from Pete Capener (BWCE MD) on the highlights from the year, Sophie Hooper-Lea (Chair of the Community Fund) on the activities of the fund and welcoming new trustees to the fund board and Jane Laurie (chair of the Communications and Community Outreach (COCO) group of the supporters network) on how the supporters network has been actively engaged with BWCE’s work over the year.

AGM presentations can be found here

Our annual report and audited accounts can be found here

Briefing paper and FAQs on our change in interest rate policy can be found here & here

AGM Resolutions

The AGM supported the following motions, based on both votes cast at the AGM and via online polls before the meeting:

  • Adopt the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2019 (97% approval);
  • Approve policy to change target interest rate on shares issued before 2019 to 3.5% above the Retail Price Index (84% approval)
  • Approve 5.7% interest on shares issued before February 2019. (94% approval);
  • Approve 4% interest on shares issued after February 2019 (89% approval);
  • Approve £40,000 allocated to the Community Fund (95% approval);
  • Reappoint Alanbrookes Ltd as BWCE’s auditors (97% approval); and
  • Change our rules to allow the Board to increase the number of elected directors from 5 to 6 (95% approval)

The board would like to acknowledge the level of engagement that members have offered during the year around the proposals to change our interest rate policy, with 2 online member meetings and many 1 to 1 conversations. We valued the debate and the challenge and we respect the views of those members that in the end did not feel able to support our proposals.

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AGM 2019

BWCE’s 2019 AGM was held on Saturday 14th September at Komedia, another community owned business in central Bath. We were delighted to welcome over 50 members, bondholders and interested observers. The formal AGM notice can be seen here.

We would like to thank not just those who attended, who voted on-line or who stood for election, but also all our members, supporters, friends and partners for their active involvement in what we have been doing over the year. We need your help and that of many more if we are to make the rapid reduction in carbon emissions required to address the climate emergency we now face.

In particular we wanted to acknowledge:

  • Sophie Hooper Lea for her great work as chair of the BWCE community fund, alongside all the other fund trustees and the Quartet Foundation, who make the fund such an effective mechanism for supporting local community action. The fund is now open for grant applications. See here for more information.
  • Jane Laurie as chair of the Communications and Community Outreach group and the other active members of the supporters network that have done such great work over the last year.
  • BWCE’s board, Jon Bateman, Sonya Bedford, Mike Bess, Peter Harvey, Jeff Kenna, Jolyon Orchard, Pam Penkman for their commitment, support, insight and challenge over the year. Especially Mike Bess who is moving to Ireland and has not sought re-election for the board this year after many years of excellent contribution and support. He will be missed.
  • Our members and investors, without whose confidence in what we are trying to achieve we would not be here.
  • Our partners, Bright Renewables, Stemy Energy, Moixa, Triodos and many others, but in particular Jane Wildblood and her team at B&NES Council who have done such valuable work over many years and are now even more important with the Council’s own declaration of a climate emergency.

We are looking forward to working with you all and many others over the coming year as we seek new ways to address the challenge of the looming climate crisis, already having such devastating impacts around the world.

Presentations from the AGM can be downloaded here this includes highlights from for the year 2018/19 an update on future strategy, including proposals for the next 18 months and investment in new development..

Our audited accounts for the year can be seen here.

A report on the highlights from 2018/19, our finances and our proposals for member and community fund payments for the year can be seen here.

 AGM Motions

The AGM supported the following motions:

  • Adopt the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2019;
  • Approve 6.25% interest on shares held by members;
  • Approve £35,000 allocated to the Community Fund;
  • Reappoint of Alanbrookes Ltd as BWCE’s auditors; and
  • Change in our rules to allow the Board to co-opt up to 3 Directors (the rules had previously limited this to 2).

BWCE Board elections

We would like to thank all those who stood for election to BWCE’s Board this year: Barney Rhys Jones, David Daniels and David Martin. Our elected Directors contribute a significant amount of time and expertise in overseeing BWCE’s work and strategy, and anyone who puts themselves forward for election has already made a commitment to do that.

Barney Rhys Jones was elected and we look forward to welcoming him to our next Board meeting in November.

Community Fund & the Supporters network

Sophie Hooper Lea, chair of the BWCE Community Fund, and Jane Laurie, chair of the communication and community outreach group of the Supporters Network provided an update on their work during the year.

It was great to hear from active members of the supporters network, Steve Cross, David Symington and Nicolette Boater about what they had been working on, and two grant recipients, Alice Boden from Monksdale Allotments and Peter Hayward from the Weston Hub, about what their grants had enabled them to do (planting a community orchard & energy efficient lighting and heating system controls).

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AGM 2018

BWCE’s 2018 AGM was held on Saturday 8thSeptember at All Saints Centre in Weston, Bath. We were delighted to welcome nearly 50 members, bondholders and interested observers.

We would like to thank everyone who attended, those who voted on line who couldn’t attend and all those who stood for election. Your active participation in BWCE’s work and development of new projects is vital if we are to meet our vision of being an area able to supply decreasing local energy demand with increasing generation from renewable energy, driven by collective action and community ownership.

Presentations from the AGM can be downloaded here

Our audited accounts for the year can be seen here.

A report on our finances and our proposals for member and community fund payments for the year can be seen here.

A report on project performance and the impact of lower than average levels of sunshine can be seen here.

AGM Motions

The AGM supported the following motions:

  • Adopt the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31stMarch 2018;
  • Approve 6% interest on shares held by members;
  • Approve £30,000 allocated to the Community Fund; and
  • Reappoint of Alanbrookes Ltd as BWCE’s auditors.

BWCE Board elections

We would like to thank all those who stood for election to BWCE’s Board this year: Nicolette Boater, Peter Harvey, Pam Penkman and Ash Sharma.

Pam Penkman was re-elected together with Peter Harvey.

Community Funds

We heard inspiring stories from 3 recipients of the community funds during the last year:

  • Friends of Roundhill School, a group of parents and teacher who used their grant to provide training for the site manager on efficient use of the school boiler and the formation of the school’s environment team. The grant has inspired the group to do further environmental work in the school. They have saved an estimated £4,000 with their grant of £650.
  • Centre for Sustainable Energy, have provided advice to BANES residents to alleviate fuel poverty.
  • Bath Repair Café: have continued to develop a network of repair cafés in Bath. They also plan to work more closely with schools.

Looking ahead to 2018/19

Attendees also heard more about our plans for the next year and everyone enthusiastically participated in contributing ideas for how we can use existing networks and community contacts to build our community outreach work, specifically the take up of the local energy supply offer. Nick Bird, who joined BWCE’s staff team in August, will be leading this work.  Expect to hear more from him in the coming months about how you can get involved.

Jane Stephenson
Chair, BWCE

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AGM 2017

BWCE’s 2017 AGM was held on the evening of the 27th September, at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) in Queen Square in Bath. Over 50 members, bondholders and interested observers attended.

A complete report will be published later – in the meantime the edited highlights…

6% interest agreed for members
£30,000 allocated to the Community Fund

Jon Bateman re-elected as non-executive director
Jolyon Orchard elected as non-executive director
Sonya Bedford co-opted as director

Presentations from the AGM can be downloaded here and a more detailed report on project performance in the past year can be seen here.

The papers for the AGM can be downloaded below:

BWCE Board elections

The board elections were completed at the meeting. Those unable to make the meeting were able to vote electronically in advance.  Votes were also collected via paper ballots brought to the meeting. Jon Bateman was re-elected together with Jolyon Orchard. As a result of the election this year the board is back up to its full complement of 5 non-executive directors.

Jane Stephenson is moving from being an elected non-executive director to an executive chair and so won’t be standing for re-election.

We are particularly pleased to be welcoming Sonya Bedford, who will be joining the board as a co-opted director after the AGM. Sonya heads up the renewable energy team at lawyers Stephens Scown.

Click here for BWCE’s role brief for non-executive directors. For context on the priorities facing BWCE’s board, you may like to see here BWCE’s draft Business Plan Overview, which we will present to the September AGM.

Directors of BWCE are responsible for the financial wellbeing of the organisation and its strategic direction. For further information click here to see a fact sheet on director responsibilities produced by Coops UK.

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AGM 2016

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.

AGM BUSINESS

Board Changes
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

Finances
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.

The accounts were adopted by members. See here for the accounts and here for background and summary of BWCE finances.

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.

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.

BWCE 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.

Rule Changes
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.

THE FUTURE

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.

AGM PAPERS

The following key papers for the AGM can be found at the links below:

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.

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AGM 2015

Our AGM was held on 25 July 2015 with nearly 100 members present.

There were 2 vacancies for non-executive directors to the board of Bath & West Community Energy to be filled at this years AGM with 5 candidates, any of whom would have done a superb job. In the end Jane Laurie and Pam Penkman were elected.

Other highlights include:

  • The announcement of a 7% interest payment to members for the fourth year running
  • £50,000 to be allocated to the Community Fund an increase of over 100% on last years allocation, of which £45,000 will be allocated to projects in the coming year
  • The resolution for the change in the BWCE rules, as outlined below, was approved with over 50% of members voting.

A summary of the 2014/2015 year and the accounts can be found by following the links below:
BWCE Board report 2014-2015
Final Draft BWCE Accounts 2014-2015

The agenda, papers for the non-executive director election, accounts and resolutions can be viewed by following the links below.

BWCE AGM Agenda 2015
Non Executive Director Candidate Statements
Non Executive Director ballot paper
New Rules Resolution Online Ballot
New BWCE rules as adopted and approved by the FCA following AGM
Background to change in BWCE rules

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AGM 2014

This year’s AGM was held in the impressive Hartham Park, site of one of our ground mounted solar arrays. Despite the heavens opening and threatening to flood the approach road to Hartham Park, the AGM went ahead and was attended by nearly 20% of our membership. Of course the sun came out later, so some people were able to visit our 250 kW array too.

Good news
All the motions proposed were accepted, which means that for a third year running we will be paying 7% interest to our members. This money should be paid direct to your accounts by early October, so if you’ve changed your bank account, now would be a really good time to tell us.

More good news
A £15,000 payment to the newly formed, independent charity Bath and West Low Carbon Community Fund was agreed. If you add that to the £8,700 we already have allocated from last year’s grant and the generous donations of some our members, it means that we will be able to make £20,000 available later this year for grants to community projects wanting to address carbon reduction or fuel poverty.

Welcome, Welcome back and sadly Goodbye
As well as the annual update from Jeff on progress last year and our substantial plans for next year, followed by a succinct review of the accounts by David, we also had the results of our annual elections for non executive directors. This year Jane Stephenson was re-elected and we welcome a new director, Jon Bateman to the board. Jon is a semi retired civil engineer and active within the community sector. We do however have to say goodbye to Adam Walton as he stands down from the board having been involved in BWCE since the early days. Adam has given a significant amount to BWCE and the whole board and I am sure all our members would like to thank him for his contribution to our success.

Member feedback
The AGM also included some very interesting, useful and enthusiastic discussions with members. This has provided some excellent feedback to the team, including ideas for future projects, thoughts about our approach to project development and ideas for active member communication and involvement, among many other things.

Finally
From the board’s perspective it was great to see the level of engagement and a growing sense of ownership amongst the membership. And very heartening to hear one member saying that they were ‘so impressed with the way that you have developed such a professional organisation but managed to keep such a friendly, community feel as well’ – Praise indeed.

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AGM 2013

BWCE’s AGM took take place on 3rd July 2013 at St Swithin’s, The Paragon, Bath BA1 5LY

Just under 100 members and guests attended the AGM in the fine venue of St Swithin’s. Jonathan Porritt, the well-known environmental campaigner, gave the keynote speech.

MD Jeff Kenna outlined the achievements and problems that faced us last year and a flavour of what is in store for next. David Bunker our Financial Director had a gallop through the financial results. Lots of intelligent questions were asked and 4 resolutions were voted on – all carried by a large majority.

  1. That the accounts of Bath & West Community Energy were approved
  2. The proposed payment of 7% interest to members on their investment for the period April 2012 to March 2013 was approved
  3. The proposed payment of £4,800 to the community fund was approved
  4. The auditors, Monahans of 3 Pierrepont Street, Bath, BA1 1LB, were re-appointed

A new Non-executive director Mike Bess was elected by the members

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