BWCE Members interest payments update 2017

October 2017

At our AGM 2017 6% interest was declared for members’ shares for the year ending 31 March 2017.

All the interest payments due to members are paid by bank transfer unless we don’t have bank details in which case you will receive a cheque. Payments will be made by the beginning of November.

More details about your interest payments and their tax treatment can be found here

If you have any queries about your payment are handled by Neville Registrars please email [email protected] or call 0121 585 1131.

BWCE Fund opens for new applications

PRESS RELEASE  4 October 2017

Nearly £30,000 up for grabs as Bath & West Community Energy Fund opens for applications

Bath & West Community Energy Fund opens for the fourth year running to applications from local organisations that want to shrink their carbon footprint or address the real issues of fuel poverty and climate change.

The fund, nearly £30,000 this year, comes from Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) as part of the work it does in supporting the communities in which it operates.

The fund has in the past awarded 28 grants for a total of £90,988 with money going to schools, community groups and a variety of local environmental organisations. The 2017/18 programme opened 28 September and runs until 17 November. Applications are sought for grants of up to £5,000. Full details of the grants awarded can be found on BWCE’s website

Interested projects need to apply through the Quartet Community Foundation website

Read more…

Old Mill 5 (and nearly the last)

Just before Christmas despite some exciting flooding, and in time to qualify for the reserved Feed in Tariff, the Waterwheel at the Old Mill Hotel in Batheaston started turning and generating clean energy for the hotel. Big thanks to all concerned especially the fine workers at Hydrowatt. Click on the picture below to see the waterwheel working in all its glory

The waterwheel has the capacity to generate 13.5kW of electricity – which may not seem much but assuming reasonable river conditions it will generate clean electricity 24 hours a day 365 days a year – thats about 67,000 kWh per year, enough to meet the equivalent annual electricity demand from 20 homes. We  hope that the waterwheel will also act as an education facility and a tourist attraction.

Why don’t you visit the Old Mill Hotel, grab a drink and watch this fine piece of engineering in action.

 

Old Mill 4

Old Mill Hotelwooden-paddles-28-11-16

 

 

The project to install the waterwheel at the Old Mill Hotel is nearing completion. The waterwheel is now complete with the addition of the wooden panels.

 

 

 

Flooding in Bathampton, Bath. | Photographer: Artur Lesniak/arturlesniak.com | Date: 22/11/2016 | Copyright: Artur Lesniak/Trinity Mirror

 

 

 

There was slight delay due in work last week due to flooding.

 

 

Trash Screen

 

 

 

However the flood bypass and the trash screen (yes, that is a picture of a trash screen on your left) are now installed. The electricians, I am reliably informed, are coming on Tuesday and once they have finished the testing of the entire installation will start.

 

 

 

 

 

The water wheel at the Old Mill Hotel  is looking splendid. Please do pay it a visit and buy a beer or a glass of wine in the downstairs bar, as part payment for the disruption caused to the Old Mill staff and owner, while we have been building the waterwheel.

old-mill-long-view-28-11-16

Old Mill 3

SONY DSC

 

Update 1 September

Things move on apace at Old Mill Hotel. Work has started at the Hydrowatt factory in Germany on the fabrication of the waterwheel. See the pictures above and below. Fingers crossed the circumference of the shutters shown in the Old Mill 2 Blog will be a few centimetres larger than circumference of the actual waterwheel. It is important that the new wheel fits snugly into its housing so that as much energy as possible from the water flowing underneath it is used to turn the wheel to generate electricity.

SONY DSC

 At the same time back at Batheaston the workers have not been idle. The shuttering for the housing for the  generator has  being erected in the concrete poured

Waterwheel generator housingSteelwork for generator housing

Old Mill 2

Shuttering

Shuttering for water channel

The reason this is such an exciting picture for us at BWCE is that is it means the construction of our waterwheel is moving on apace. This is a picture of the shuttering that went into the bottom of the channel the water will course through to turn our water wheel. Shuttering, for those of you who don’t know, is the wooden structure that is used as a temporary former to contain setting concrete. In this case the shuttering went into the bottom of the channel, the concrete was poured and when it has set hard the shuttering will be taken out and we should have a nice curved channel that will exactly fit the diameter of the water wheel.

Water channel under construction
Water channel with workers

 

Workers constructing the channel

 

 

 

Water channel nearly ready for shuttering

 

 

 

Meanwhile in Germany at the Hydrowatt factory the wheel is being built – photo’s to follow.

Old Mill Hotel

Result – At last
Work has started on installing the waterwheel at the Old Mill Hotel. This is especially satisfying news as it was our first ever project, started over 5 years ago and makes a change from lovely and efficient, carbon reducing, but not very photogenic, solar panels. I distinctly remember our first meeting, in 2010, at the hotel, with John Lancaster (now the project manager) and Mr Meshreky the owner, and thinking this shouldn’t take too long!!.

For those of you who can’t remember the project we will be replacing the current decorative waterwheel with one capable of delivering approximately 87,000 kWh per year.  The wheel is currently being built by Hydrowatt in Germany. As the project progresses we will be posting pictures to our website but in the meantime here’s what it looked like on 19 May 2016

WANTED PHOTOGRAPHS
If you are passing across the Toll Bridge in Bathampton or visiting the Old Mill Hotel please stop and take a picture of the site and send it to me for publication on our website. Huge prizes for the best picture.

On the left, as the site was before work started showing the old decorative wheel. On the right, step 1, take the old wheel away!

Old mill now copyOld Mill Waterwheel May 2016

Energy Supply Meeting

Energy Supply Member Meeting on 15th March

Over the last 6 months we, at BWCE, have been evaluating the options open to us for developing a local energy supply offer. We want to be able to give our members and others the opportunity to buy the clean electricity generated by our own installations and those of other local community benefit societies. We will be outlining our proposals at a public meeting for members and ‘not yet’ members – where we will be seeking your views (and asking members to vote) on key aspects of our plans. This is an important development for BWCE as we adapt our business plan for a world beyond subsidies. So please come along and make your voice heard. Our member meeting will be on:

Tuesday 15 March starting at 6.30 pm promptly and finishing at about 8.00 pm at

BRSLI, 16 Queen Square, Bath, BA1 2HN

Not yet BWCE members and the plain curious are very welcome but will not be able to vote on any proposals

Government Consultation on the Feed in Tariff & early notification of BWCE share offer

What chance for new community energy projects in the future?

As you may know the government has launched a consultation on the Feed in Tariff, the main mechanism for supporting small to medium scale renewable energy projects in the UK. The proposal is that from January next year, there will be a major cut of up to 87% in the tariff. As you can imagine, this will have a devastating affect on the industry and in particular on our community energy sector.
It is important to note it will not affect our existing projects or those that have already been registered, but it will drastically affect the potential to realise new projects.

The consultation on the proposals can be found here and closes at 11.45pm on the 23rd October. A good summary has been put together by Regen SW and can be found here.

We know the government is getting a lot of responses from the community energy sector and we will be adding BWCE’s voice to this. We hope that you will add yours too. 

In summary, BWCE will be saying that:
1. Community energy is capable of delivering a wide range of additional benefits beyond renewable energy capacity, not least the re-investment of profits back into local communities ensuring that local communities benefit significantly.
2. Even though community energy is rapidly growing, it is particularly vulnerable to such heavy cuts as it has less access to commercial and institutional finance than its commercial counterparts.
3. Within the next few years as the community energy sector matures, communities may posssibly be able to compensate for the loss of the Feed in Tariff through the development of creative financial instruments, perhaps via the Green Investment Bank, or through local supply offers that enable them to secure greater value for their generating assets. But in the meantime they still need support of the FiT.
4. Some renewable energy technologies like solar PV could well reach grid parity within the next 3-4 years, the point at which time renewable energy will no longer need subsidy to compete with conventional energy generation. However the drastic cuts to the Feed in Tariff are too much, too quickly. The harm they are likely to do to the sector will set back the move to grid parity, rather than bring it closer.
5  In the short term, without the Feed in Tariff, it is probable that the community energy sector will wither before it is ready to stand on its own – without subsidy.

In addition we will also press hard for the re-instatement of pre-accreditation which was removed on 1 October. This is the process by which projects can secure their Feed in Tariff level at the point they have planning and a grid connection offer, rather when they commission. Without pre-accreditation it is impossible to model financially whether a project is viable or not. In consequence little can get built with any degree of comfort for potential investors.

What can you do?
You can add your voice to the tens of thousands of others who are responding to this threat to our industry by:
1. Getting involved in the online campaign run by 10:10. Their ‘Keep Fits’ campaign can be found here. Responding to their simple questions provides an easy way of making your voice heard within the context of the consultation.
2. Signing the online petition started by 38 degrees here.
3. Most importantly get in touch with your MP. Ask them whether they are concerned about the prospect of undermining the community energy sector in this way, if you are already a member of a community energy organisation, tell them why you think community energy is a good thing and what motivated you to get involved. Ask your MP to write to the Secretary of State, Amber Rudd, to voice their concern about the impact on community energy and their communities.

A number of MPs, including some Conservatives have voiced their concerns, it is important to encourage more to speak out. We have lobbied our local MPs as have many others in the South West and across the country.

So while stocks last…. 
In the first half of November we will be launching our last share offer to fund projects that have already secured the current Feed in Tariff and so are not vulnerable to the proposed cuts. So, keep looking out for your BWCE newsletter for more news and email us on [email protected] if you are interested in investing. Please forward this newsletter to friends, colleagues and neighbours so they can get involved – while they still can!

Regards

Pete Capener
Chair
Bath & West Community Energy
E: [email protected]
T: 07775781331

Interest payments and EIS certificates

9 October 2015

Interest Payments
An interest payment of 7% per annum was declared at the last AGM for the fourth year in succession. Members should have received by now an email confirming the amount of interest they will receive for their shareholdings up until 31 March 2015. There will have been an email that pertains to each one of their shareholdings. So for example if you hold three share certificates you will have received three emails. If for any reason you haven’t received the emails please contact Peter Andrews as soon as is convenient. The actual payments will be made, by bank transfer, over the next few days. Please note investors in the Wilmington Solar Array will be receiving interest pro rata, dated from the date on their share certificates.

 Enterprise Investment Scheme ( EIS) 3 certificates
The blank EIS 3 certificates have now been received and will be filled in (by hand unfortunately) and sent out to you as soon as possible. For those of you who don’t know how to claim your tax rebate our financial director David Bunker has written these instructions.

How to Claim EIS Relief

HMRC have now authorised the tax submissions made by BWCE so now we can distribute to all qualifying investors a Form EIS 3 which sets out the amount invested and states that the investment is eligible for tax relief.

For Investors who Normally Complete a Tax Return Form

You need to claim the relief on your Tax Return form by completing the Additional Information Section. In Box No 2 on Page 2 you need to enter the total value of the investment upon which you are claiming relief. In the large box on Page 4 of the Additional Information Section you need to provide details of the name of the company invested in , the amount invested, the date of issue of the shares and the name and reference number of the HMRC office issuing the tax certificate. All this information can be found on the EIS certificate we will issue.

You do not need to complete pages 3 and 4 of the EIS certificate. You do not need to send the EIS Certificate to HMRC but you do need to retain it in a safe place. HMRC may request to see the certificate as evidence in support of your claim.

The tax relief will normally be allowed in the year in which the shares were issued to you. If you wish to claim relief against the previous tax year you can either amend the Tax Return previously submitted for the earlier year, or fill out Page 3and 4 as detailed below and send it to your HMRC office.

For Investors who do not Normally Complete a Tax Return Form

If you are employed under PAYE or retired and do not normally complete a Tax Return form, the procedure for claiming relief against tax deducted from you is slightly different. You need to complete the blank sections on Pages 3 and 4 of the EIS Certificate. The details you need about the date of issue and the HMRC office reference number can be found on Page 1 of the certificate.

Detach Pages 3 and 4 of the EIS certificate and send it to the HMRC office that deals with your tax deductions. If you are employed or have a pension from a former employer you will be able to find details of the HMRC office dealing with your affairs from your employer. If you cannot find this information you will need to telephone HMRC on 0300 2003300.

The tax relief will normally be allowed the year in which the shares were issued to you. There is a space on Page 3 of the form to specify if you wish to claim the relief against the preceding tax year.