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, 2015.

Hooray, we are Best Community Initiative, 2015!

Tresoc is the winner of the RegenSW’s 2015 South West Green Energy Award for the Best Community Initiative.  “As judges, we are impressed by the dedication and achievements of community led energy initiatives, an area showing substantial growth and momentum across the country and particularly here in the South West. This is an ambitious movement that is increasingly showing it can deliver.  The year’s winner has an excellent balance of community engagement with local residents and has developed an innovative partnership model with a housing association and local installer.

It has successfully installed solar PV on social housing, to provide power to local households and reduce their electricity bills significantly.  Please can I invite onto the stage the winner of the 2015 South West Green Energy Award for the Best Community Initiative: TRESOC” – Emma Bridge, Community Energy England, lead judge

“Winning the “Best Community Initiative” in the South West is a great compliment that you and the entire TRESOC team richly deserve for your passionate desire to develop green energy opportunities in and around Totnes.” – Ian Alexander, Charity Bank

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.   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. 

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.


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.

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!”

Update on our Charity Bank loan application

Tresoc investors will know from our Prospectus that the Society is looking to raise £500,000 to £1,500,000 to fund a portfolio of hydro and solar projects. To date we have raised some £200,550, which is no small sum, but the income from this level of investment is not enough to cover our annual operating costs (admin, insurance, accountancy etc) even without paying directors.  However, we are in discussions with Charity Bank with regards to a loan facility that might allow us to fund our projects and establish Tresoc as a viable business. We are very pleased to be working with this specialist lender whose aims fit well with our own, and who offer flexible loans and support to social enterprises. Please see Charity Bank’s website for more details.

We have met the Bank’s representative and on 29th September submitted our application for a loan that we could draw down, as and when needed. The application process is expected to take 6 to 8 weeks. During this process the bank will be determining whether, and on what terms, a loan may be made to us, and the Board will look in detail at our finance projections to ensure that any loan terms we agree fit with our aims to be a sustainable, growing organisation, paying a return on our members’ investments.

Meanwhile, the Board, in consultation with members, has decided to keep the share offer open on the terms outlined in the Prospectus, until such time as we have a decision on the Charity Bank loan. If we are successful in our application, the full details of the implications of the loan, and what it will allow us to achieve, will then be communicated with our members.

All monies received through this share offer are held in a dedicated deposit account and will be repaid in full if we do not raise sufficient capital to establish Tresoc as a going concern. There is still time for old and new members to invest in Tresoc and now is the time to show your support for renewable energy in community ownership.

Please call us 01803 867431 or email if you would like to discuss this or any other aspect of Tresoc.

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.

For a useful summary of Questions and Answers on the new loan and what it will mean for Tresoc, you can view minutes from an update meeting held by the team with its members on 22nd July, 2014.

Join Jonathon Porritt and hundreds of people just like you…

Invest now to enable Housing Association tenants to benefit from free electricity.

This is a great opportunity to put you money in an ethical, secure, investment in community-scale, clean energy installations.  Millions have been raised by community energy groups across the UK – we have the power!

“I’ve been following TRESOC’s fortunes for some years – and was strongly in favour of their (sadly) unsuccessful wind farm application 18 months ago.  For me, TRESOC represents exactly the kind of organisation on which the future of energy in the UK will come increasingly to depend.  Personally, I’ve invested £2,500 – and wish it could be a lot more.  Over the last five years, I have set aside roughly £5,000 a year to invest in community energy schemes around the country.  It just makes much more sense to me at the moment than sticking it in a pension pot!” – Jonathon Porritt 

Download a Prospectus with Application Form   Download an_Application_Form only
Request A Printed Prospectus
Read our Prospectus, then apply by returning the Application Form and a cheque to us – for £20 up to £100,000.  Membership comes with TRESOC’s acceptance of your application and investment payment.  Download our WHY INVEST CRIB SHEET to help spread the word.

Torquay Museum – solar roofs

Torquay Museum

Update:  This project is on hold until we are able to raise more funds and the Museum is in a position to pursue the project.

TORQUAY MUSEUMRanked among the finest in South West England, Torquay Museum was built to house and display the collections of the Torquay Natural History Society, founded in 1844.  The Venetian-Gothic style building dates back to 1874 and the land under the museum was leased for 1,000 years from the Cary family and rent was 1/- per year, which is still paid today.

Like many other museums of this era, energy efficiency was not a driving factor in it’s design, and measures such as insulation are difficult to incorporate retrospectively in a listed building.  Visitors’ expectations have grown, such that lighting and heating now account for the museum’s high electricity bills – approx. £12,000 a year.  Our project will see discreet, roof-mounted solar PV on a more modern extension that houses the museum’s archives, making a dent in those expenses.  It is, however, a significant step in the museum’s Sustainability Plan, which may see TRESOC involved in developing a biomass boiler shared with the church next door!

A Co-operation Agreement is in place with the museum Trustees, the legal agreement for the lease is straightforward as there is no lender, and we have reviewed the land registry title deeds for the property (a lovely old style deed written by quill on parchment paper dating from 1874!).

“Torquay Museum are excited to be working with TRESOC to develop this innovative initiative. Not only will we be reducing our energy costs in real terms, we will also be part of the solution when it comes to tackling climate change. By installing renewable energy solutions we will be acting as a beacon for other cultural institutions in the region and fuelling an increasing awareness of the role organisations can play in encouraging behavioural change. 

A huge benefit of our partnership with TRESOC is the opportunity to reach out to our community to invite investment, both financial and cultural. Through this scheme Torquay Museum will be able to build on its relationships within the community and become a fully integrated community asset.”

– Phil Collins, ex-Museum Director

Talk at Torbay Hospital

This is exactly the kind of help we need!  An offer at the Tagore Festival from a potential new member to arrange a presentation to 130 hospital staff at Torbay Hospital.  As a result, we’ll be speaking at lunchtime on 2nd July in the Horizon Centre about our journey, the success of Leatside, why Community Energy is the clean, healthy way for us, collectively, to take a stake in our energy future and why this Share Offer is a really important opportunity.  Where do you work?  Who do you know?  TREC Lecture Theatre, Horizon Centre, Torbay Hospital, 12-2pm on Wednesday 2nd July.  Open to all.