Reading Community Energy Society is celebrating its 5th anniversary in July. Since the first share offer was released on July 15th 2016 the society has raised enough funds to install solar power systems on 22 buildings across Reading including Reading Central Library and the University of Reading. The average electricity produced by all the solar panels is enough to power 128 homes for a year 1.
The Society is run by a board of 9 directors and aims to accelerate the uptake of community owned renewable energy in Reading and the surrounding area.
The society makes consistent returns for shareholders by providing electricity at discounted prices to building users and by selling excess power to the grid. Additional funds are put towards Community Grants which have so far supported 6 projects in the local area. For example, last year the grants provided funding to insulate Reading Sea Cadets’ training building and an off-grid solar panel system at Path Hill Outdoors.
Community energy also helps to lower Reading’s carbon emissions, a vital step in minimising the worst effects of climate change.
Chair of the society since its inception, Tony Hoskins, said: “These past five years have been an exhilarating journey. At the start, the board had some excellent aspirations and since then the team has delivered all of their aspirations so far. But the journey is not ended – with Councils in our area declaring climate emergencies, we are actively contributing to delivering solar installations to reduce the emissions.”
More installations and grants are planned for the future and the society is always happy to hear from anyone interested in finding out more.
1 Based on an average household electricity consumption of 3,578 kWh