Reading Community Energy Society exists to enable the installation and expansion of renewable and low carbon technologies in and around Reading, for the benefit of the local community, and to help make the area a cleaner, greener place to live.
We have initially focussed on installing solar photovoltaic panels on local buildings, allowing them to benefit from preferentially priced, low carbon electricity. Funds are raised through our community of investors, who saw returns of at least 5.6% in 2022. After paying reasonable returns to investors, any surplus funds are held in our community grant fund to support wider sustainability locally.
In the future, we intend to expand to consider a wider range of technologies and solutions to continue to reduce Reading’s carbon footprint even further.
Who We Are
RCES is set up as a ‘Community Benefit Society’ meaning it is a business run for charitable purposes. It is managed for the benefit of the community and owned by investors, who are mainly locals. These investors are RCES Members and are protected by limited liability status.
Reading Community Energy Society members include people from the local community, Reading Council and Energy4All.
Energy4All a non-profit social enterprise that supports communities to own and operate renewable energy projects, and is helping to deliver this scheme. Its constitution is in the form of Rules approved by and registered with the FCA.
Each of our Board of Directors are passionate about increasing the amount of renewable energy in Reading. The RCES Board are driven by high ethical standards as defined by the international co-operative movement and intend to operate the Society in line with the values of co-operation and democracy as well as a sound commercial ethos.
The key characteristics of Reading Community Energy Society are:
• the Society operates for the benefit of the community;
• a Member must have the minimum number of shares which is 200, each with a nominal value of £1;
• all Members have one vote regardless of how many Shares they hold;
• no Member, except another registered Society, may hold more than 100,000 Shares;
• the Board is elected by the Members and only Members are eligible to serve on the Board.
RCES is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (Registered Number 7156) under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.