Switching on a new community enterprise in Oldham

Well Oldham is backing an innovative renewable energy community enterprise project driven by local residents. Oldham Community Power (OCP) uses pioneering technology to install community-owned renewable energy on schools and community buildings across the borough.

Oldham residents, community groups, and businesses are all becoming members of OCP by purchasing shares with each member entitled to an equal single vote. http://www.oldhamcommunitypower.org.uk/files/2016/...

The offer provides many local benefits:

  • Local schools and community groups receive lower-cost electricity, meaning more money is available to support core activities;
  • Surplus revenue from electricity generation will provide a small community fund, further enhancing the benefits to local community groups;
  • Increasing the amount of energy generated by renewable resources reduces Oldham’s environmental impact, making the borough a more pleasant place to be;
  • As investment is open to everybody, we can all do our bit to reduce our environmental impact without high up-front costs;
  • Community energy offers an ethical place to invest your money, with all investments going to support renewable energy projects in the local area;
  • Investors in the scheme will gain a return.

Oldham Community Power (OCP) - a community benefit society registered with the Financial Conduct Authority - has been formed to fund the installation of the panels via a community share offer. The founding Directors are all local environmental activists - Alan Price, Bill Edwards and Colin Salt.

“At last something practical is being done to involve schools and communities in renewable energy and climate change,” says Alan Price, Director. “Our shared vision, first and foremost, is for Oldham residents to become members of a society; to then enable them to reduce their energy consumption and carbon emissions; to generate an income from electricity sales that can be invested back into community projects; and – most excitingly of all – to educate people on how to reduce their own energy usage at home.”

Working in partnership with OCP and Renewable Energy 4 Business will be Leila Sharland of the cooperative Sharenergy - providing technical and project management support; Andy Hunt of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council (OMBC) - providing school liaison and access to the roofs; and community liaison lead Sharon McGladdery of Action Together.

To ensure that the local community’s best interests stay at the very heart of this project, the partnership will offer schools, colleges, universities and community groups the chance to be involved at every stage, from initial conception to installation, as well as advice on delivering ongoing energy savings.

If you would like to volunteer to help or if you are interested in becoming a member of OCP and investing in the society, please email OCP Director Bill Edwards at bill.edwards1@btinternet.com or telephone Sharenergy on 01743 277119.

Click here to view the Key Facts document

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