“TRESOC – a new type of community renewables company… a business that should be funded… TRESOC may enable Totnes to become one of the first towns to operate its own independent generation and energy retailing company supplying local homes and businesses with ‘local’ electricity” – Chris Goodall, Carbon Commentary
Tresoc shortlisted for Awards
The shortlist for Community Energy England’s Community Energy Awards is actually quite a long list, but we’re on it, yay! The awards this year will take place in Oxford on 5th September, following the Community Energy Conference 2015, “New Government, New Dawn” as part of Community Energy Fortnight, 5th-20th September.
The conference is free to attend (including lunch and refreshments) to ensure that as many communities as possible can participate in the speaker and interactive sessions. You can book here. The Awards shortlist is an impressive group of practitioners who are contributing significantly to the sector, so whether we win or not, you may like to consider attending to learn more and show your support; it’s also free; you can book here.
Clean Energy For All – Yes!
Governments and policies change, but the crisis of our times around energy and the environment is real and urgent. Thanks to everyone for contributing so enthusiastically to our interactive event on 23rd July. Lots of conversations about clean, green energy and the community’s part in producing, owning and managing it – specifically around 1) the papal message on “care for our common home”, 2) big picture renewables changes, 3) what local gov is doing, 4) making community energy work on the ground 5) future project types, and 6) educational opportunities at Totnes Weir. It was a fun couple of hours, thanks to Hal Gillmore of the REconomy Centre, exploring where we stand – in this moment here in the UK – with another winter of fuel bills on its way. Outcomes include a multi-faith event in the autumn dedicated to the encyclical, urgent correspondence with local MPs, an offer to keep the Weir area tidy, an idea for a generating play park… more on this soon!
Here’s an interesting pdf from Climate Outreach & Information Network (COIN) about framing language about climate change to mobilise activity across the world’s 5 faith groups: COIN-Our-Voices-4 pages – June-2015
Cheaper bills for tenants – 27 homes installed with solar
We are currently visiting SDRHA tenants whose systems are up and running, explaining how to make the most of the free electricity they are getting, whilst managing the process of making appointments and scheduling installations.
“A number of tenants have commented to me how pleased they are with their new solar panels, and think it’s a great idea to install solar panels on as many properties as possible. They are particularly excited about receiving reduced fuel bills, which also meets one of SDR’s objectives of supporting our tenants to reduce fuel poverty” – Francis Bourke, SDR Operations Director
Watch this 3 minute video – we’re working in partnership to install arrays on tenants’ roofs from Exeter to Plymouth.
Totnes Weir hydro – £1.3m target reached
Fantastic news! Dart Renewables Bond Issue raised £1.3m and has now closed.
The Dart Renewables 2015 bond issue to raise capital to finance completion of this iconic Totnes hydro scheme closed ahead of schedule as the target total of £1.3m was reached with 9 days to go. About a fifth of the funds raised came from local investment. Congratulations to Dart Renewables, who have worked diligently on the project for many years.
SHINE project kicks off
We’ve started our SHINE project… solar PV on the roofs of 77 social housing homes across the region, from Plymouth to Exeter, concentrated in Totnes and Dartington. Expected annual generation 270,000 kWh. Savings for SDRHA residents approx. £40,000 per year. C02 equivalent 121 tonnes per year. NOW GENERATING! – the array on Devon Rural Housing Association’s HQ, also home to the Totnes Work Hub. Lower electricity bills for tenants! The SHINE project launched on Friday 27th March.
AGM success and next steps
GREAT NEWS! TRESOC members voted almost unanimously to accept bank loan finance and release our Share Issue investment of £258,000. As a result, we are now 1) progressing with Charity Bank loan documentation and 2) moving forward with the SHINE project – solar on the roofs of 77 Housing Association homes across the area. Next will come the purchase of the roof-mounted 50kW array at Hatchlands Farm. Then we can turn our attention to hydro and start organising our Creative Conversations, where we’ll open up the dialogue about the what, where, why and how of Community Energy.
TRESOC AGM Directors Report Mar 2015
TRESOC AGM Minutes
More renewables for Totnes!
We have achieved over a QUARTER of a MILLION pounds in local investment… £258,000 to be precise. Your investment (min £20, max £100,000) has kick-started our ready-to-go solar projects, bringing them into community ownership. Thank you for making an ethical, secure, investment in community-scale, clean energy installations… co-owned with your friends and neighbours. Millions have been raised by Community Energy groups across the UK – we have the power!
More good news – TRESOC has succeeded in meeting Charity Bank’s rigorous criteria and has received a “Heads of Terms” document for a loan of £356,000 based on two of the solar projects in our prospectus; 70+ Housing Association roofs and the purchase of the operating array on Hatchlands Farm barn.
Unblocking the UK Community Energy Revolution
The Government is proposing changes to the rules and regulations that govern the co-operative structures that are most suited to deliver community energy in the UK. Although this doesn’t affect us directly, the FCA is challenging the very foundations of co-operative endeavor, whereby capital raising and profit distribution go hand-in-hand with the realisation of social mission. Community Energy England have produced a briefing – backed by national orgs including CPRE – that highlights the main actions that are required to get the UK’s community energy revolution back on track. Please download and read it and write to your MP.
Dartington make further investment in TRESOC
The Dartington Hall Trust has increased its investment in TRESOC at a key point in the Society’s growth. The Trust joined TRESOC as a corporate member in 2010 and recently chose to invest a further £20,000 in TRESOC’s current Share Issue, bringing the total raised so far to £230,570. Our members continue to email us words of support along with their investments: “the reward for small investors is definitely seeing the alternative energy base grow and develop. I and others will rejoice just to see the solar panels spreading!”
Loan Application Submitted to Charity Bank
A fantastic total of £230,570 has been raised to date and we are still open for further applications. A heartfelt thank you to all our investors, old and new. After careful analysis of our finance model, we are pleased to have submitted our application to Charity Bank for a loan facility to enable us to make up the shortfall to the minimum target for this share issue. Read more here.