Community Energy Cumbria Ltd is an Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) for the benefit of the community (‘IPS Bencom’). It is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in England and Wales under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Number 7084). Its registered office is Community Energy Cumbria Ltd, c/o CAfS, Eden Rural Foyer, Old London Road, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 8ET.
The registered Rules of the Society can be simplified thus:
Rule No 4: “To carry on any business for the benefit of the community by facilitating an increase in community ownership of renewable and low carbon projects across Cumbria.”
Rule No 5: “The Society shall be owned and controlled by its Members on a fair and equitable basis” (which means irrespective of the size of share ownership, each Member has one vote.)
To achieve these aims, Community Energy Cumbria Ltd has chosen an ethical, well tested financial model to raise capital (the ‘IPS Bencom’ model). The purpose is to build sensitive, economically viable renewable energy projects in Cumbria, aiming to attract lots of small investors rather than depending on one or two large, private or institutional investors.
As far as practicable, Community Energy Cumbria Ltd will employ local companies to supply, install and service our renewable energy projects in order to retain as much local economic benefit as possible. The income from these projects will then be divided between covering the running and maintenance costs of the projects, repaying the capital investment back to the shareholders as well as paying an annual interest to shareholders, then ploughing any surplus back into community and environmental projects (hence the ‘Bencom’ part).