Community Benefit

£330,000 Donated

£330,000 donated to the BWCE Fund and other organisations to support environmental and fuel poverty projects.

57 Organisations

57 local community organisations supported to run 91 projects

£615,000 Revenue

£615,000 of revenue per year retained in the West of England area.

£250,000 Donated

£250,000 donated to environmental and fuel poverty projects.

55 Organisations

55 local community organisations supported to run 82 projects

£615,000 Revenue

£615,000 of revenue per year retained in the West of England area.

Local Benefit

We’re set up as a Community Benefit Society, meaning that surplus income from our renewable generation is donated as grants to projects making environmental improvements, reducing carbon emissions and fighting fuel poverty. We set up the BWCE Fund as an independent charity with it’s own trustees to distribute these funds and are very proud of the benefits these grants have brought within our local communities.

As a successful local community owned business we try to ensure that as much of our revenue as possible is retained in the local economy so that it recirculates and further benefits local businesses and communities.

View our funded projects

Find out more about the BWCE Fund

The fund is now closed to applications and will open again in September 2023. You can download the 2022 guidelines but please be aware these might be amended for 2023.

Read Fund Guidelines

Community Engagement

Through our community engagement work we seek to use our resources to support community groups and other organisations to develop activities that address the climate crisis and promote energy efficiency. We do this through building partnerships, collaborating on projects, running events and sharing useful information through our website and newsletter.

We are continually looking for new ways to use our finances, skills, experience and our network of members and supporters for the benefit of both local communities and planet. Ultimately, we are aiming to build 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.


What We Do

Renewable Energy

We have a growing portfolio of rooftop solar and ground mounted solar arrays, have installed one small hydro scheme and plan to develop other renewables.

Managing Energy Demand

We run projects to explore how energy demand can better match renewable generation in order to aid the transition to a low carbon electricity grid.

Partnerships

We partner with a range of organisations to develop community owned renewables, run energy demand projects and deliver on our mission of providing community benefit.

Our Project Map

The map shows where our renewable generating projects are located. Click on each to find out more details.

Renewable Energy Generation

Since our inception in 2010 we have installed five ground mounted solar arrays (solar farms),  over 20 rooftop solar systems on schools and other buildings and one modern water wheel.  We have a growing pipeline of new installations.

All pre 2019 solar systems continue to be supported by the Feed in Tariff (FIT). Since the removal of FIT in 2019 we have developed new business models to enable new projects to be financially viable without it.

We install rooftop solar systems for free, manage the system and sell the electricity generated to the building owner at a discount. This means no upfront cost, less hassle, lower energy bills and a reduction in carbon emissions for the building owner. 

Ground mounted solar projects are developed in liaison with local communities, Parish Councils and landowners, building in significant biodiversity improvements at the sites. Whilst we would like to sell the energy generated to local households this is not currently possible due to UK regulations and high set up costs for energy supply. Instead, we sell the electricity to an energy supplier through the wholesale electricity market. We are also in discussion with large local energy consumers about long term power purchase agreements that provide price security for both parties.

Read More about Rooftop SolarHow are our projects performing?Want to develop a project in your community?

Renewable Energy

Since our inception in 2010 we have installed five ground mounted solar arrays (solar farms),  21 rooftop solar systems on schools and other buildings and one modern water wheel.  We have a growing pipeline of new installations.

All pre 2019 solar systems continue to be supported by the Feed in Tariff (FIT). Since the removal of FIT in 2019 we have developed new business models to enable new projects to be financially viable without it.

We install rooftop solar systems for free, manage the system and sell the electricity generated to the building owner at a discount. This means no upfront cost, less hassle, lower energy bills and a reduction in carbon emissions for the building owner. 

Ground mounted solar projects are developed in liaison with local communities, Parish Councils and landowners, building in significant biodiversity improvements at the sites. Whilst we would like to sell the energy generated to local households this is not currently possible due to UK regulations and high set up costs for energy supply. Instead, we sell the electricity to an energy supplier through the wholesale electricity market. We are also in discussion with large local energy consumers about long term power purchase agreements that provide price security for both parties.

Managing Energy Demand

The climate crisis requires more than just replacing fossil fuel generation with renewable energy. We also need to reduce energy usage and be more flexible in how we use electricity to make the most of when renewables are generating. Through a series of innovative demand management pilots we are exploring how this can happen.

  • Our ongoing Flex Community™ was initially supported by Power to Change and is currently funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme as part of the ReDREAM Project, in collaboration with partner organisations in Europe and Avalon Community Energy in the UK. Flex Community integrates digital technology with energy technologies (e.g. electric vehicle charge points) to enable householders to offer flexibility to the electricity grid. In addition it is simulating householder purchase of renewable energy from our Stowey Ground solar array and peer-to-peer trading between households with and without solar panels.
  • From 2018 to 2020 Solar Streets, funded by Power to Change and Friends Provident Foundation, installed solar PV and batteries in two streets in Bath, promoted householder demand management and monitored electricity usage at two local sub-stations. This was part of Western Power Distribution’s Open LV project.
  • From 2014 to 2015 Empower, funded by Innovate UK, tested household participation in shifting electricity demand from peak times.

Read More about energy demandFind out about Flex Community™

Bath West Home

Clean Local Energy

We build renewable energy generating projects such as rooftop solar systems and ground mounted solar arrays (‘solar farms’).

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Community Owned

We raise funds though local people investing money in us and becoming members.

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For Community Benefit

Surplus income is distributed via our BWCE Fund to community projects that reduce carbon emissions and alleviate fuel poverty.

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Latest

Browse our latest news, updates, events and resources

Bringing Community Benefit

We’re set up as a Community Benefit Society, meaning that all our surplus profits are reinvested in projects for local good. Our independent BWCE Fund provides grants for community projects seeking to reduce carbon emissions and combat fuel poverty. We also work with other organisations to support local community action on climate change.

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Get Involved

Local people created BWCE and made it what it is today. Now at this crucial time for the planet, we need more people to join our community energy revolution. You can become a Member by investing and/or get actively involved through our Supporters Network. We are also looking for local organisations to partner with us to develop new projects.

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