Help schools reduce their energy bills with new community share offer

Schools, Libraries and Learning
17:40, Friday, 4th August 2023

A ground-breaking new scheme using Government cash to help Scunthorpe schools go green and reduce their energy bills has moved to its next stage – a community share offer.

Local residents will have a limited time to invest in the crowdfunding-style scheme, with a minimum investment of just £50 at an expected annual interest rate of five per cent.

£1.4m of Government Towns Fund cash is being used to fit schools with solar panels free of charge – reducing carbon emissions and dramatically slashing energy costs.

To raise another £680,000 for more schools and community buildings a community benefit society has been set up called North Lincolnshire Community Energy.

It will run the community share offer, which is open now until 15 September, or when it is fully subscribed, whatever is sooner.

Schools and community buildings get the solar panels for free and pay the society for the energy they use at heavily reduced rates – the initial rate is 9.9p/kWh.

Any profits generated by the society will be ploughed back into other green initiatives in North Lincolnshire.

Cllr Rob Waltham, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This is an incredible scheme that will enable schools to future-proof their energy needs – it will bring down bills at a critical time.

“We are working in partnership with renewable energy company Energy4All to deliver this scheme through North Lincolnshire Community Energy. This is a positive way people can invest in the green economy and earn a good return.”

Cllr David Rose, cabinet member for the environment, added: “This is an opportunity for the community to get involved in practical action to mitigate climate change.

“This aligns with our ambitious Green Future plans which are designed to not only reduce our impact on the environment but also help other organisations too.”

Schools which have already benefited from the phase one of the scheme include Frederick Gough, Bottesford Junior School, Holme Valley Primary, Berkeley Primary, Priory Lane Primary and St Hugh’s.

Ten more educational establishments have signed up to phase two of the scheme, including John Leggott College, with schools and community buildings already earmarked for phase three.

Between them they are expected to save more than £100,000 in energy costs a year.

For more information and to download the share document and apply for shares, go to the share offer page on the NLCE website.

(Photo: St Hugh’s School, Scunthorpe)

This share offer is a long term investment in shares to deliver environmental and social impacts as well as a financial return. As with any investment there are risks. The value of investments is variable and can go down as well as up. Your capital is at risk and may not be readily realisable. Returns are projected and variable, depending on the performance of the project, and are not guaranteed. Consider all risks before investing and read the offer documents. North Lincolnshire Community Energy Limited is registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act under Registration Number 8805.