Easter is upon us and soon hordes of children (and adults no doubt) will be rooting around for chocolate eggs wrapped in golden foil. The image of piles of shiny sweet treats being scoffed this weekend brings to mind golden eggs of another kind. Aesops fable of the goose that laid golden eggs.
In the fable a couple come into possession of a goose that miraculously lays eggs of solid gold. Not satisfied with the slow but steady supply each day, the greedy couple took an axe and killed their goose only to find nothing inside. No more goose and no more gold.
This is a parable we all could benefit from listening to. Traditionally a warning against shortsighted and greedy actions that ruin a source of steady return, the fable is as relevant as ever in an era of continued investment in fossil fuels for quick gains. Forget killing the goose, we are killing the whole planet.
Thankfully there are other options. Through investing in renewable community energy projects it is possible to gain a healthy return whilst helping to protect the environment. Lets call it a turbo-charged golden goose: producing financial return for you, your family and the wider community as well as protecting the environment for future generations.
Banister House Solar is one such project…
Individuals can become members of the UK’s largest inner city community-owned solar project by buying a share of the 102 kWp solar array that will be housed on 14 buildings of the Banister House Estate in Homerton. Shares will be available from £50 up to £42,000.
Just some of the benefits of this project include:
- Work opportunities for young people! We have involved 15 young people from the estate with paid work experience throughout the project. They have been doing everything from knocking on doors carrying out surveys, to learning about energy efficiency and how to make solar panels. With your support, they will now be installing solar panels on their estate!
- Healthy return on investment and tax relief! We project an annual return of around 4% in addition to 50% tax relief received via SEIS for those who pay tax in the UK. We will also be generating income that will become Banister House Solar Community Fund, promising some £1,400 a year and £28,000 over the 20 year life of the Society to be used on further projects that benefit the community.
- More clean electricity! The combined array for Banister House Solar will have Kilowatts (kWp) of installed capacity and is expected to save approximately 50 tonnes of CO2 every year.
- Special rates for Banister House residents! Even more people can now get involved and take ownership of renewable energy. To support this, we have a minimum investment to £50 for residents of the Banister House Estate.
- It’s easy and quick to purchase your shares! Just go to http://www.repowering.org.uk/banister fill out your details and you’re done. Please be sure to note on the share form you can buy a share for a young person that will be held in trust until they are 18. That’s reasonable returns over a reasonable amount of time.
I will leave you with the words of Leila Fortunato, mother of three, Banister House Estate Resident of 19 years and Director of Banister House Solar.
“When I started to learn more about this project I realised that it wasn’t just about putting panels on the roofs, it was also about building communities. This project has given us the chance – and will continue to give us the chance as local residents to come together and make decisions about our estate and what happens here. Before I started this project, all I could think about was how to get off this estate, as I’m sure we are all familiar with the problems. I was concerned for my children and of course I’m still concerned by the local problems affecting our youth and pensioners alike. But last year over many months of the project, I was delighted to see my two older children and some of their friends become part of Repowering’s 30 week internship programme, where every week they were engaged in learning – and getting paid. I noticed a greater sense of social responsibility, focus and maturity as the months progressed. As they learned, I learned too and participated in a variety of free workshops that ran on the estate, including draft busting and energy saving; these have given residents helpful tips on how to reduce energy bills. Some of you living here in Banister House may have already benefited from the free energy audits aimed at both helping people reduce their energy bills, and training interns who also attended people’s homes.
Finally I think it is important that we take power back into our hands and stop being at the mercy of the big energy companies. By selling the electricity we make, we as Banister House Solar get a return of that money into a community fund and you as investors get up to a 4% return. Any one of you who live on the estate can be involved in Banister House Solar and have a say in how the money should be spent for our community. I never thought I’d ever have the chance to invest in anything, but I’m really thrilled to have the chance to invest in this, as it is something I feel is a really worthy cause, that will benefit us as a community and provide further opportunities for our young people in the long run. I feel a deep sense of satisfaction that I am involved in this project, and I’ve also met some new and interesting people along the way. I really hope you will get involved too and buy a share in Banister House Solar. Remember that if you live on the estate a share is £50, and of course you can benefit from up to 50% tax refund if you are a UK resident.”
(Golden Goose Image via Project Gutenberg)