Community Share Offer Open!

Invest today and become a member of Bath & West Community Energy

We’re looking to raise further community investment to enable us to install new solar PV systems across schools and other buildings in the Bath & West area helping them save money and reduce their environmental impact.

We’re welcoming investments of anywhere from £100 – £100,000 with a maximum interest rate of 5% (subject to performance). What’s more, we’re a democratically run Community Benefit Society which means that all new investors, regardless of how much they invest, will also become voting members of BWCE with one member one vote, joining us on our mission to support communities and tackle the climate crisis.

As with all investments, capital is always at risk. Please read the share offer document in full before choosing to invest.

What we've achieved

We are proud of BWCE’s achievements to date. We have developed a not-for-profit community energy model, built a range of community owned renewable energy projects, recycled £380,000 of surplus back into local community projects and provided fair rates of interest annually to our members.

Since this share offer was first launched in 2019, we have:

    • Raised just over £2 million and installed over 1.2MW of new rooftop solar on 13 schools and 2 leisure facilities reducing both carbon emissions and fuel bills.
    • Developed an extensive pipeline of new community renewables projects to be built out over the next 12-18 months.
    • Established a number of pilot projects around energy demand management and launched a new home energy efficiency programme (November 2023).

Help us achieve more

This share offer will help us to raise the capital necessary to expand even further our portfolio of rooftop solar schemes, helping us to do our bit to reduce our collective impact on the climate.

Community energy provides opportunities for people to become part of the practical solution to climate change.

Becoming a member of BWCE provide you with the opportunity to:

    • Join a not-for-profit community enterprise committed to carbon reduction and delivering community benefit.
    • Receive a target interest on your investment of 5% (subject to performance).
    • Support us to grow and increase our impact.
    • Demonstrate community support for the ambitious response to climate change and energy security we desperately need.

We are now one of the largest community energy businesses in the country – but our impact is still so very far from being enough.

Solar Roof Spotting

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Share Offer Details

Apply at any time (shares allocated every two months)

  • Open to new and existing members
  • Minimum investment £100
  • Target interest rate 5% (subject to performance)
  • Interest accrues from the date of share allocation
  • Shares allocated every two months – next Share Allocation on 31st March 2024.

In our previous share offer we raised £2,077,334 up to 31st December 2023. We now have a target to raise £800,000 by July 2024.

Funds Raised to date £98,900

Contact us if you have any questions about the share offer:

Call: 01225 683202

Email: [email protected]

How do I Apply for Shares?

Click ‘Apply for Shares‘ below to go to a separate online application form that allows you to read the share offer document online, understand the risks involved and apply for shares. Shares can be paid for online by debit card or by bank transfer.

To find out more before applying you can read the Frequently Asked Questions further down the page.

Download share offer document as a PDFApply for Sharesemail us if you have any questions

Risk Warning

Note, that investing in BWCE puts your capital at risk. This means that you may lose some or all of the money that you invest. Read the full offer document, understand the risks and agree with the terms before investing.

Community Shares Standard Mark

Our share offer has received the Community Shares Standard Mark. This is awarded by the Community Shares Unit to offers that meet national standards of good practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of organisation is BWCE?

Why should I become a member?

Become a member of BWCE and help us build our capacity to:

  • Generate more renewable energy
  • Develop new approaches to reducing carbon emissions
  • Deliver community benefit

By becoming a member you will:

  • Make a clear statement of support for what we are trying to achieve
  • Help us to raise more funds for our work
  • Become involved in a not-for-profit community enterprise, democratically run by its members based on one member one vote
  • Earn a return of up to 5% per year on your investment depending on project performance

Who can become a member of BWCE?

Membership of BWCE is through shareholding with the following eligible to become a member. 

  • Individuals over the age of 16.
  • For under 16s, shares can be held on their behalf and transferred to their ownership on their 16th birthday.
  • Membership is also open to corporate bodies (e.g. charities, limited companies, co-operatives) and certain types of pension funds, such as Self Invested Personal Pensions (SIPPs).

How much do I need to invest and what are the returns?

Shares are valued at £1 each. The minimum shareholding is £100 and the maximum is £100,000, per member.

Shares are being offered with an annual target interest rate of 5%, subject to project performance. Interest rates will not exceed this target rate for these shares.

This share issue does not affect the terms of shares purchased before February 2019.

What will my investment support?

BWCE needs new capital to enable us to:

  • Install more community scale (rather than domestic scale) roof mounted solar PV systems, similar to the successful projects that BWCE already has in its portfolio. We have a target to deliver 1MW of new solar PV before April 2023. If we raise more capital than needed to deliver our rooftop solar programme, the board reserves the right to invest this additional capital in other projects with appropriate project returns, e.g. ground mount solar.
  • Re-finance some of our existing capital, improving liquidity and allowing some existing shareholders to more easily withdraw their shares.

How can I participate as a member?

You will be able to participate in decision making. As a member you will have one vote regardless of the number of shares you own. One Member – One Vote

You will be able to stand for election to BWCE’s board. If successful you will be able to hold the post for a period of three years before resigning or re-standing for election.

Membership is governed by our rules which are available to download here.

When are shares allocated?

Even though you can apply at any time, shares are allocated every two months. 

The next allocation date (given in the Share Offer Details box above) is the date on which your shares will be allocated if you apply now. 

This is also the date from which you share interest will start accruing.

How is share interest calculated and when is it paid?

Members earn interest on the shares they own at a level that reflects the performance of BWCE’s projects. The interest is always paid annually and in arrears.

The process for deciding on, and paying, interest is as follows:

  1. The 31st of March is the financial year end for BWCE. After this point annual accounts are produced and then audited.
  2. BWCE’s board will then make a proposal for the level of interest to be paid to members based on the performance of BWCE’s projects in the previous financial year and BWCE’s financial position at the year end.
  3. Audited accounts and the board’s proposal for member interest payments are then presented at BWCE’s Annual General Meeting, usually in September, and voted on by the members.
  4. Assuming the relevant resolutions are passed by members, a statement of interest will be sent to each individual member and the payments can be made a short while afterwards.

What are the tax implications of BWCE Shares?

BWCE is required to send out share interest payments gross of tax (in other words with no tax deducted) and we are also required to provide to the Inland Revenue the names and addresses of shareholders who received share interest payments greater than £250.  The interest should be declared on the tax return relating to the tax year you receive the actual money (NOT for the year in which it was earned by BWCE). 

If in any doubt you must consult HMRC or your financial advisor.

Can I withdraw my shares when I want to?

Shares are withdrawable at the discretion of the BWCE board. Withdrawal requests are considered once a year (except in exceptional circumstances). All share withdrawal requests received by 1st July each year will be reviewed by the BWCE board at its first meeting following that date, usually in July or August.

Our policy on share withdrawal can be found here.

How else can I invest in BWCE?

Anyone over the age of 18 can invest in a BWCE bond offer when they are available. BWCE doesn’t have any open bond offers at the moment

Bonds offer a fixed rate of interest, generally for a fixed term. 

As a Bondholder you do not have the same rights as a member, being unable to participate in decision making and stand for the Board. However, we do try to involve Bondholders in the life of BWCE as much as possible.

We expect subsequent bond offers will be eligible for inclusion in the new Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). This means investments made in this ‘wrapper’ will have their interest paid tax free.

Bond offers are issued as and when required. If you wish to be informed of the next bond offer please subscribe to our mailing list.