BECOME A PIONEER INVESTOR IN READING HYDRO

Announcing the Launch of Reading Hydro Pioneer Share Offer

We’re excited to announce the launch of our Pioneer Share Offer for Reading Hydro CBS. This is an initial investment round to support the early stages, including outline design work to ensure the viability of the project. You can support and invest in Reading Hdyro here!

Our Initial Pioneer Shares

We have got as far as we can supported by initial grants from the Reading Climate Change Partnership and the Department of Energy & Climate Change (now BEIS). All alongside countless hours from the support and work of our wonderful volunteers and growing community (that’s you).

 

Now we need to move quickly to the next stages! The government is ending the Feed In Tariff for renewable energy at the end of March 2019. In order to secure this extra income, essential for the viability for the project, we must register our scheme with Ofgem before then. We are working to achieve all the necessary permissions. In parallel we are commissioning an Outline Design for the project by an experienced contractor.

You can buy into our Pioneer Share Offer to kick start this project work. This will cover project permissions costs and the commissioning of the outline scheme design.

After all this we will be able to do a full design for the project, make our Main Community Share Offer, and build the scheme.

Without the money raised from this Pioneer Share Offer the project won’t happen for years.

All Pioneer Share owners will be members with a vote in our Community Benefit Society, be eligible to have their investment repaid over time once the scheme is up and running, and gain other perks along the way. If the scheme cannot be built the Pioneer Shares will not be able to be paid back.

Your money is at risk if the project fails; your support makes it more likely we will succeed.

IF YOU’RE INTERESTED TO FIND OUT MORE, INVEST IN SHARES, OR SUPPORT IN WHATEVER WAY YOU CAN, THEN PLEASE READ MORE ABOUT OUR PIONEER SHARE OFFER ON CROWDFUNDER.

JUST WHAT IS A COMMUNITY BENEFIT SOCIETY?

So you’re not for profit, but not a charity? You’re not a business, but you’ll be looking for investors for the hydroelectric project? People can join as members and vote for directors at your Annual General Meeting, and agree where community funds can go, but you’re not a cooperative or a Community Interest Company, Social Enterprise……

These questions and many more are what we get asked frequently and are even queries we had when choosing the best model to enable Reading Hydro to become a reality and support it thriving in the future.

Why a Community Benefit Society?

Just like a charity we have “Objects” which specify what we do and how we commit to benefiting the community and the environment. Our reason for being!

The objects of Reading Hydro CBS are, to carry on any business for the benefit of the community by:

  1. The development, financing, installation, management, operation, generation, transmission and supply of energy from renewable and low carbon energy sources
  2. The conservation of energy through supporting energy efficiency and energy use reduction.
  3. Returning proportional benefit to the community.
  4. The promotion and awareness of environmental and related issues with support for educational initiatives
  5. Enabling the local and wider community to invest in renewable energy and low carbon generation.

What’s so important about Community focus and involvement?

We are set up for the benefit of the local community and look to achieve this through building a hydroelectric scheme on the river Thames at Caversham to generate clean electricity that can be sold to raise community funds for further projects.

It will take a while to get to this stage. To begin with the scheme will be funded by early stage donations and grants, before it is opened up for public investment, probably through a share offer.

The assets (hydro scheme) and liabilities will be held by the society and once all the shareholders have been paid back the hydro scheme and the profit from it will be for the benefit of the local community.

The assets are locked which means that they cannot be sold for the benefit of the directors or members.

In the initial years we have to pay back our investors, so only a small proportion of the income from selling electricity can go to the community. When investors are fully paid back, all the profit will go to the community. We are looking at generating long-term, sustainable funding here.

Why Membership for £1?

Reading Hydro members elect the directors on the basis of one member one vote: in this respect we are similar to a cooperative, autonomous and controlled by members. Part of becoming a member includes paying £1 for a share. This entitles you to one vote at general meetings, as well as getting involved in our day to day activities as much as you’d like.

Will I be able to invest more?

We are always happy to receive donations, no matter how small, and in-kind support. When we open the hydro scheme for public investment, you will be able to invest more in it, and this investment will earn a small return.

It all sounds great, right? So what are you waiting for? Join us!

For more information on Community Benefit Society you can read about them on the Community Shares website    or on DECC. Alongside this we recently went to an inspiring conference from The Plunkett Foundation, which gave examples of the many forms a CBS can take, from pubs, farms to Whiskey distilleries!