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Schools Energy Co-op

Schools Energy Co-op 2019 community shares offer

£100 minimum (£50 if on behalf of children)

Members subscribing for shares under this offer should receive a return on their investment targeted at an annual rate of 4.5%. This will be paid in respect of the Co-op’s financial year commencing on 1st April 2020. Interest is paid in about October in each year so the first interest payment on shares subscribed under this offer will be made in about October 2021 based on the member’s shareholding in the 2020/21 financial year.

Minimum raise for offer to proceed

No minimum

Financial return

Members subscribing for shares under this offer should receive a return on their investment targeted at an annual rate of 4.5%. This will be paid in respect of the Co-op’s financial year commencing on 1st April 2020. Interest is paid in about October in each year so the first interest payment on shares subscribed under this offer will be made in about October 2021 based on the member’s shareholding in the 2020/21 financial year.

This rate of 4.5% is the same as that paid on shares issued under the Co-op’s fourth share offer made between August 2018 and August 2019. It is slightly less than the interest rate paid on shares issued under the first three share offers, which reflects the reduction in the rate of feed-in tariff since those earlier share offers. The interest rate on those shares will not be affected by this share offer.

Solar panels generate most electricity, and therefore income, in the summer. Therefore, income resulting from installation of solar panels funded by this offer in the year ending 31st March 2020 will be comparatively modest so no interest will be paid to investors in respect of that period.

The Co-op's Board may propose increasing this rate of interest from 4.5% in the future if inflation results in a material increase in future interest rates and the return to members becomes unattractive.

Profits will not be shared with schools to any material degree until members have been paid in full the targeted rate of interest. Payment of interest is not linked to the performance of the solar panels funded by the share offer but depends on the performance of the Co-op and its solar panel systems as a whole.

Social return

The Co-op’s mission is to increase generation of renewable energy, to enable more schools to have solar panels and to support schools financially and in their sustainability and educational work. The Co-op sells electricity to schools at a material saving to the price they are currently paying.

The Co-op installs, owns and operates 2,277kWp of solar panels to generate electricity which are located on the roofs of 61 schools and one children’s hospice

In its last financial year, the Co-op generated 1,450MWh of electricity, reducing emissions by about 710 tonnes of carbon dioxide. This year’s generation and carbon savings will be materially higher as the Co-op benefits from a full year of generation from the installations made last year. The Co-op calculates carbon savings by assuming they offset natural gas-fuelled electricity generation with a carbon intensity of 499g/kWh

The Co-op focuses on schools principally for the educational benefit – to demonstrate renewable energy to the school age generation and so it becomes an everyday part of their life. Schools receive an excellent educational resource with graphics and data feeds explaining the operation and performance of the solar panels. Many schools are keen to be more sustainable and the Co-op helps them do so and also delivers valuable financial savings.

Minimum investment amount

The price of each share is £1. The minimum number of shares you can buy is 100 (50 if buying them on behalf of a child).

Maximum investment amount

The price of each share is £1. The maximum you can buy is 100,000 (except for investment by other societies). The maximum holding is inclusive of any shares you already hold in the Co-op.

Getting invested money back

The Co-op intends to commence repaying share capital to members in March 2020 and to make repayments of capital annually thereafter. Members do not have the right to withdraw share capital but the Board has the power to permit shares to be withdrawn. The Co-op currently envisages that it will repay up to about £200,000 of its share capital in March 2020 since it is aware that some members who invested as early as 2014 wish to be repaid (particularly in probate cases and for change of personal circumstances). The Co-op envisages it will redeem about a further 5% of its shares each year thereafter until all capital is fully repaid. Members who wished to redeem their shares would be given priority, and any further shares redeemed would be redeemed in proportion to members’ shareholdings. All redemptions would be at the par value of £1. The Co-op will fund the repayment of shares principally from its cash reserves (arising largely as a result of the depreciation charged in the accounts), but also, if appropriate, by making an issue of new shares to existing members and others who wish to invest, or increase their investment, in the Co-op.

The Co-op has budgeted to redeem £200,000 of shares in March 2020 but will be consulting members to ascertain whether they wish to redeem that amount. If members wish to redeem less than £200,000 of shares then the cash saved will be invested in new solar arrays and the amount the Co-op needs to raise under this share offer will be reduced.

The intention is to redeem all share capital within 21 years after the commissioning of the last solar panels funded by this offer.

Any such redemption is dependent on the performance of the business. The effect of redeeming share capital is to reduce the amount paid out in interest and to increase the payment to schools.

How secure is invested money?

All investment and commercial activities carry risk. Anyone buying shares in Schools’ Energy Co-operative is at risk of losing some or all of the money invested and there is no guarantee that you will receive any return on your investment. The shares are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme or the Financial Ombudsman Service. Accordingly, the money you pay for shares is not safeguarded by any deposit protection scheme or dispute resolution scheme. Members should take appropriate advice and make their own risk assessment whilst also bearing in mind the social, educational and environmental benefits of investing in Schools’ Energy Co-op.

Keeping track of your investment

The details of your investment are recorded on your share statement issued by the Co-op. 

Each year Schools Energy Co-op will publish a set of accounts.


Successful applicants for shares will receive a confirmation of shares allotted and their details and holdings will be recorded in a share register to be kept by Energy4All on behalf of the Co-op, at Unit 26, Trinity Enterprise Centre, Furness Business Park, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria LA14 2PN or any successor business address. Each person or organisation issued with shares becomes a member of Schools’ Energy Co-op with membership rights defined in the rules. The principal membership rights are:

  • One vote per holding on resolutions of the members, including on the appointment of Directors;
  • The right to share interest on the amount currently invested in the Co-op;
  • The return of the original investment during the life of the project, subject to available surplus assets, as determined by the Directors;
  • Eligibility for election to the Board.

Nomination and Inheritance Tax

In the event of the death of a member, the repaid value of the shares will normally be added to the estate for probate purposes. You may elect to nominate a recipient for the value of the shares (but only up to the amount set out in law) and thus (under current legislation) remove the value of the shares (up to the amount set out in law) from your estate for probate purposes i.e. the shares may pass to the nominee outside the Will of the deceased. The nominated property will nevertheless form part of the deceased’s estate for Inheritance Tax purposes, unless the estate is an excepted estate.

The Co-op's shares would generally be expected to attract Business Property Relief at rates of up to 100% for IHT purposes, provided the shares have been held for at least 2 years.

Who can invest

This share offer is open to individuals over 16 years of age and to organisations which support the objects of the Co-op. Individuals may apply as the nominee of a child under 16 by completing the nominee application form in addition to the usual application form.

Offer Closed

 As of 31st December 2019 this offer is closed.

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