Reading Community Energy Society (RCES) will say goodbye to our founding Chair, Tony Hoskins, and we welcome Tony Cowling, who will take up the position later this year.
Tony Hoskins has chaired the society since its inception 6 years ago, helping it get off the ground and flourish into the success it is today.
Reading Community Energy Society was a new concept at its inception, and one initial challenge Tony Hoskins faced was evaluating the best benefits that the society could bring to all of its stakeholders; building owners, shareholders, and the community grant scheme. This challenge again became apparent in 2019 when the government changed its Feed In Tariff, which previously subsidised the electricity generated by the society’s solar arrays. Tony and the board had to rethink the society’s business model and change its focus to equipping solar arrays to high daytime consumption buildings.
Tony Hoskins has been instrumental in facilitating the roll out of the society’s two rounds of share offers – where investors put money into the society with guaranteed returns. He’s especially pleased with the smooth running of the second share offer that has almost 100% of investors coming from the local area.
Not one to sit on his laurels, Tony Hoskins also spearheaded recent partnerships with Wokingham Community Energy and Chiltern Hills Community Energy. He said: “The one thing of which I am most proud is probably encouraging the board to extend RCES’s geographic coverage – Reading is not an island and we should not take an isolationist attitude”.
The society is in safe hands with new chairperson Tony Cowling, who has been on the board since the inception of RCES. Tony Cowling is the formal chair, but will share the role with Mike Landon, another current member of the board.
Tony Cowling and Mike Landon hope to guide the expansion of the society’s portfolio of solar panels by finding and developing new sites, as well as continuing the work of the community fund that awards grants to local organisations and promotes the society’s valuable work.
Tony Cowling said: “It is a great honour to be appointed as the new chair of Reading Community Energy Society. It’s exciting to see renewed interest being shown by local organisations following the energy price hike, and we are in an excellent position to continue to expand our portfolio”.
On behalf of all the members of RCES it just remains to say a big thank you to Tony Hoskins for all his hard work and input into the society!