A renewable energy co-operative in Newport, South Wales, has successfully installed its first solar panels on the roofs of fuel-poor houses in the area.
The project, which is co-ordinated by Gen Community, has so far raised £205,000 from 75 investors. London-based Bright Funding has pledged to bring that figure up to £390,000, but the share offer has been extended until February 25.
Gen Community is also in talks to receive debt investment from a number of social businesses – allowing it to install solar panels on more houses throughout Newport.
The overall target for the share offer is £1m. Would-be investors can pledge anything between £500 and £20,000, and can expect a yearly return of around 7%.
One such investor, Cathy – retired and from Scarborough in North Yorkshire – said, “I’m in Greenpeace and have never bought a share in my life before.
“My roof is not south facing, but I want to contribute. Given the low returns on offer at the banks, I am happy to make an investment.”
Another – Sandra from London – said, “I am renting an ex-council flat, and cannot install solar PV.
“The Gen Community offer is an energy related impact investment I am looking for. I am happy that someone else is directly benefitting, whilst I am getting a fair return.”
The solar panels will produce some 631 megawatt hours of electricity (enough for over 200 homes) and is expected to reduce bills by around £38,000 a year in the Newport area.
For more information and to enquire about investing, visit the dedicated page on Gen Community’s website.
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