BWCE is a community business born out of discussions between local community groups, and as we’ve grown, we’ve kept local people’s interests firmly at our core.

We’re set up as a Community Benefit Society, meaning that all our surplus profits are reinvested in projects for local good – whether it’s fighting fuel poverty or reducing energy demand. 

We provide community benefit in several ways:

  • Through our Community Fund – known as the BWCE Fund – and other charities, which have received £210,000 from us to date to provide grants for environmental projects in local communities.
  • Through ensuring that between 30-40% of our income (£500,000 in 2018-19) re-circulates in the local economy, bringing about subsequent economic benefits due to the Local Multiplier Effect.
  • Through our development work, which supports community groups and parish councils to set up renewable energy projects for community benefit.
  • Through our Supporters Network, which supports volunteering and enables community engagement around energy and environmental issues.
  • Through our information resources and events, which boost local skills and knowledge around community energy.
  • And, ultimately, through building a resilient and sustainable community energy infrastructure, based on local ownership and control, which can better withstand shocks in the wider energy system and economy.

BWCE Fund

BWCE Fund supports local community projects that target carbon reduction and/or fuel poverty. BWCE has given the fund and other charitable organisations £210,000 to date with the vast majority distributed in grants to support local community action. The fund is now open for applications until 2nd November 2020.

Apply

Projects funded

The BWCE Fund has supported local food production, energy efficiency in buildings, re-use and recycling, fuel poverty programmes, low carbon transport, schools projects, water conservation, energy audits and advice.

The BWCE Fund is funded from surplus income from BWCE and donations from BWCE members. Surplus income is that which is left over after the company’s running expenses (for example repayment of bank loans, premises costs and staff costs) and members’ interest has been paid. The amounts allocated to the BWCE Fund is approved by members at each AGM. It is intended that, should our generating capacity targets be met,  there will be increasing amounts passed to the BWCE Fund for distribution.

The overall aim of the BWCE Fund is to support projects which will help reduce the impact of peak oil, climate change and fuel poverty in Bath and surrounding areas. It does this by providing grant funding to local projects that meet the selection criteria. Project proposals have to demonstrate that they promote environmental sustainability, low or zero use of energy and/or alleviate fuel poverty. Emphasis is on practical projects that lead to real community benefits.

The Bath & West Low Carbon Community Fund (operating as the BWCE Fund) is registered as an independent Registered Charity Number 1156710 by the Charity Commissioners. Information on the charity trustees can be found here. The fund is administered by The Quartet Community Foundation 

Projects Funded by Year

Projects funded in 2020

£28,370 has been awarded from the BWCE Fund in 2019 to the following 9 community projects.

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Projects funded in 2019

In 2019 the Community Fund awarded £31,204 to 11 projects. This is what they did with the money:

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Projects funded in 2018

In 2018 the Community Fund awarded £27,500 to 10 projects. This is what they did with the money:

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Projects funded in 2017

In 2017 the Community Fund awarded £40,543 to 12 projects. This is what they did with the money:

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Projects funded in 2016

In 2016 the Community Fund awarded just under £45,000 to 11 projects:

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Projects funded in 2015

In 2015 the Community Fund awarded £19,940 to 7 projects.

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The BWCE Fund is now open for applications until 2nd November

BWCE Fund supports local community projects that target carbon reduction and/or fuel poverty.

Apply

BWCE Fund Trustees

The BWCE Fund is independently run by a group of volunteer trustees. The fund’s board of trustees is supported by the Quartet Foundation who provide administrative support to the process of grant making.

Peter Andrews

Position: Trustee

Peter Andrews is the Treasurer of the BWCE Fund and was one of the founder directors of BWCE and is a director of Frome Renewable Energy Company. Since moving to Bath in 1990 he has been involved in many community and sustainability projects including the setting up of Britain’s first farmers’ market, starting a Car Share Club in Bath and is chair of Transition Bath. He has been a sustainability advisor to the Local Agenda 21 committee and the B&NES Local Strategic Partnership.

He was also co-organiser of England’s only Fare Strike in response to worsening conditions and increased prices on First Great Western trains. Peter owns and runs the environmental publishing house, eco-logic books.

Peter Andrews

Trustee

 

Carole Bond

Position: Trustee

An environmental scientist, sustainability practitioner and coach and marketing professional, Carole has more than 30 years’ experience specialising in environment and sustainability. Her focus has been on promoting attitudinal shifts, stimulating behavioural change, developing operational strategies around sustainability issues and in facilitating the ability of organisations across all sectors to understand and work with natural systems.

She has set up and run new businesses and advised many more. She has worked with both local and national UK Government and EU programmes on investigating and developing alternative business models to support the shift towards a low carbon economy and has co-developed a change programme methodology to support business transitions from linear to circular working.  One of her current projects is UK Government funded research on the development and integration of novel 5th generation smart energy networks. Carole served as trustee and chair of Bath Environment Centre/Envolve for more than 10 years and has also been founder member and chair of a number of environment & sustainability business fora across the South West. She has been a trustee of the Bath & West Low Carbon Community Fund since its launch in 2014.

Carole Bond

Trustee

 

Pete Capener

Position: Trustee

Peter is co-founder and Managing Director of Bath & West Community Energy, a director of Community Energy England and a trustee of the Centre for Sustainable Energy. He is chair of the BEIS ministerial Local Energy Contact Group.

Peter has worked in the sustainable energy field and on community energy for nearly 35 years, including many years as Chief Executive of the Centre for Sustainable Energy where he originally started in the mid eighties working with schools and communities. Since resigning from CSE in 2002 due to family illness, Peter has worked as an independent advisor on a range of energy efficiency, renewable energy and fuel poverty projects for various government, private and voluntary sector clients, with a strong focus on community action.

Peter has an MSc in Energy Resource Management and was awarded an MBE in 2015 for services to sustainable energy.

Pete Capener

Trustee

 

David Daniels

Position: Trustee

David Daniels lives and works in Bath and is the managing director of the MannionDaniels Group working on international health, social development and fund management. This includes managing global challenges funds on behalf of the UK and other European governments and Foundations, providing grants to civil society organisations working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

David has worked for more than 30 years on international development and humanitarian assistance in Africa and Asia and is a great believer in locally led solutions to community development. With colleagues from around the world he recently co-founded AmplifyChange a challenge fund for advocacy on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

David Daniels

Trustee

 

Leigh Fairbrother

Position: Trustee

Leigh has spent the past 8 years developing and delivering renewable energy projects with measurable environmental, social and economic benefits. Having worked with, or for energy suppliers, price comparison websites, charities, Local Authorities, and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) he has been able to increase energy switching rates and reduce fuel poverty.

In 2013, after becoming aware of the inequalities in the domestic energy market, he co-founded Community Switch, a price comparison service specifically designed to increase consumer engagement with RSL tenants. His work has helped over 50,000 households reduce their domestic energy bills and save several million pounds. Leigh has worked on projects for DECC and the NEA and is a mentor with ‘The Future Leaders – Utilities Mentoring network’, a volunteer for Raleigh International and is passionate about the transition to a smarter, greener, more sustainable energy future.

Leigh Fairbrother

Trustee

 

Simon Forsyth

Position: Secretary

Simon stumbled into environmental management in 1989 by offering to look after a paper- recycling bin. After that, things rather ran away with themselves. He helped set up Green Teams at Hewlett Packard in Bristol, ran them for five years, then became HP Ltd’s full-time environmental specialist. He left in 2000 to run a small consultancy, went on to run the Econet in-work training project, helped deliver the southwest-wide Envision programme, established a number of small business Resource Efficiency Clubs, trained a lot of Trading Estates, and now focuses on business linkages between cost-intensity, carbon-intensity, and profitability. To condense all this into something usable, he produces simplifying software, the dataCollator

Simon Forsyth

Secretary

 

Sheila Gundry

Position: Trustee

Sheila has been living in Bath and working for South West environmental organisations for 20 years. As one of the management team at Bath Environment Centre / Envolve, she worked on strategic & financial planning, and schools & youth work programmes. Subsequently, at the ethical consultancy Resource Futures, she managed a range of environmental education contracts, including the schools’ energy efficiency contract for B&NES Council and for Devon County Council.

She is a Fellow of the National Association for Environmental Education, a Director of the South West Learning for Sustainability Coalition and a core group member for Bath Orchardshare. Sheila has been a committed member of BWCE since its early days.

Sheila Gundry

Trustee

 

Sophie Hooper Lea

Position: Chair

Sophie Hooper Lea has worked for over twenty years as an independent consultant, adviser and writer on corporate responsibility and sustainability issues. Current work includes being Consultant Publishing Editor to the Institute of Business Ethics (IBE).

Recent experience includes strategic consultancy, advisory and sustainability reporting work for housebuilder Taylor Wimpey plc. This included working at senior management and Board level for over 10 years on strategy and policy development and implementation as well as sustainability reporting and benchmarking. Key areas of focus are strategy and policy development, project management, research, reporting and business writing.

Sophie Hooper Lea

Chair

 

Alastair Singleton

Position: Trustee

Alastair grew up in rural Scotland and has been passionate about the environment for as long as he can remember.  He has a driving interest in renewable energy, and is a member of a several renewable energy cooperatives, including BWCE and Keynsham Community Energy.

In his early career he worked as a diplomat in the Middle East, and there followed a business career in consultancy, recruiting at senior level and building management boards for commercial and non-profit organisations. His trustee experience includes Keep Britain Tidy, VSO and CleanupUK, and he has been active in a number of local social and environmental groups. He served as a Magistrate in Bath for fifteen years.

Alastair is a BANES councillor, and acts as the Council’s Renewable Energy Advocate. The BWCE Fund is apolitical and Alastair’s appointment as trustee is in a personal capacity, rather than as a representative of the Council.

Alastair Singleton

Trustee

 

Pearl Slee

Position: Treasurer

Pearl is the incoming Treasurer of the BWCE Fund. Pearl is an experienced housing professional with a particular interest in the environmental performance of existing homes. She has 15 years of experience working in new build development and asset management roles for housing associations.

Pearl currently works in asset performance at Curo where she monitors and analyses financial, quality and environmental performance of homes and buildings. This role involves identifying ways to improve the energy performance of homes and buildings to meet future energy targets. Pearl has a MSc in Housing and Regeneration from the London School of Economics. Pearl has lived with her young family in Bath for the last 10 years.

Pearl Slee

Treasurer