Though we expect the surplus dedicated to community benefit to be modest from our two inaugural renewable energy schemes (approx. £40,000 spread over 20 years), this surplus nevertheless represents 20% of the total expected annual interest paid to Members. CEC aims to build up its portfolio of projects over the coming months and years, so that it can generate a greater community fund and deliver greater impact in Cumbria.
One of the key ambitions of Community Energy Cumbria is to ensure that a far greater proportion, if not all, of the expenditure and income from our renewable energy projects is kept revolving in Cumbria. As an Industrial and Provident Society for the Benefit of the Community, it is written in our Rules that a proportion of our surplus will be distributed amongst projects with social or environmental benefit within Cumbria.
Our Members have agreed that the Community Benefit Fund should prioritise projects within 20 miles of our Killington based hydro scheme; support local projects that are linked to energy saving or generation; or support energy related projects delivered by CEC’s founding charity – Cumbria Action for Sustainability.
Projects that we have supported so far include:
CAfS – support for some open homes events and a bus tour during the Cumbria Green Build & Sustainable Living Festival in 2019.
Manna House – Manna House provides a drop in support centre for those who are homeless, vulnerable housed or in need. In 2021 CEC provided support towards a detailed energy audit and thermal imaging assessment of the charity’s premises in Kendal.
Staveley Community Energy CIC – We provided support towards a hydro feasibility study in 2021.
The fund is expected to reopen in October 2021, subject to members decisions at our AGM in September.
Your Society – So Your Vote Matters
Because Community Energy Cumbria Ltd is an Industrial and Provident Society, it means that whatever the size of your investment, everyone has one vote. CEC is keen that as many members get involved in the organisation, whether this means simply casting your vote at AGMs, serving as Board Members, spreading the word about CEC or even helping to bring further renewable energy projects forward to the Society.