About us

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC is a local energy enterprise which generates electricity from the sun and income to support community projects in the Burnham and Weston area, support the net zero transition and help local households struggling with fuel poverty.

Energy costs Burnham and Weston around £360 million per year, almost all of which leaves the local economy. Burnham and Weston Energy CIC is working towards a future where our energy is locally generated, locally owned and low carbon; with the value of our energy economy being retained locally.

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC is governed by local volunteer directors. Our solar bond offer raised £4million back in 2018, and gave local people and organisations a chance to get involved as investors and shareholders.

The enterprise is professionally managed by Communities for Renewables CIC.

Local energy from the sun

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC owns one of the largest community solar projects in the UK.

We have been up and running since June 2016 and our 9.3 megawatt solar array is made up of nearly 36,000 solar panels. These panels generate electricity for the equivalent of over 2,000 homes and income from the sale of electricity and the feed-in tariff.

The solar project is built on land leased from a local farming family at Wick Farm who continue to use the land for agriculture, with the added benefit of shelter for the sheep!

Our project is financed by a long-term loan from Triodos Bank, an ethical bank with UK head offices in Bristol. Our solar bond offer, which raised £4million back in 2018, enabled people and organisations to invest and have a say in the governance of Burnham and Weston Energy CIC.

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How Burnham and Weston Energy serves local communities

We serve the towns of Burnham and Highbridge, Weston Super Mare and the surrounding rural communities. As a not-for-profit community interest company, all surplus income generated by the community solar farm (after operating and finance costs, including returns to bondholders) will be used to support local community organisations and projects, and help local households struggling with their energy bills.

The solar farm is expected to generate around £3 million in surplus income over 25 years, with £50,000 per year from the outset.

Funds will initially be used to support a grant fund for local community projects managed by Somerset Community Foundation. To find out more about the community grant fund, or register interest for a funding application please visit the Somerset Community Foundation website.

In Autumn 2018, we launched an energy and fuel poverty advice service managed by the Bristol-based charity Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and delivered through partnerships with local organisations. 10% of households in the area are living in fuel poverty and in some areas, it is over 20%!

To find out more about the energy and fuel poverty advice service please visit our page on the CSE website.

Corona Crisis FundLearn About our Fuel Poverty Campaign

Share the sunshine

Our solar bond offer gave people and organisations from the local and wider community the opportunity to invest in Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, and have a say in how we are run.

Our solar bond offer raised its target of £4million in 2018, making it one of the largest community energy crowd funds in the UK to date.

The bonds will pay an initial interest rate of 5 per cent a year, which will rise every year with inflation. The initial investment will be repaid in installments over 18 years. Interest payments are not guaranteed and capital is at risk. The bonds are eligible to be held in a Triodos Innovative Finance ISA which allows investors to earn interest tax-free, or can be held in a self-invested pension plan (SIPP).

Each bondholder was also be given a single share in Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, enabling them to take part in AGM decisions on a ‘1 member 1 vote’ basis. Power to the people!

If you are one of our bondholders and your bank or contact details have changed, please change them via the Triodos Crowdfunding platform, and contact them directly if you have any queries relating to bond interest and capital payments crowdfunding@triodos.co.uk

Find out more

Why Burnham and Weston Energy?

Our energy system is changing again. The old system of big coal and gas power stations in central locations is being replaced with a new system of smaller-scale, local generation from solar, wind and other renewable sources.

Big coal and gas power stations were not always the norm – Weston’s first street lighting came from its very own Weston-super-Mare and District Gas Company, which grew to supply neighbouring towns, including Burnham. Eventually, local companies like these were nationalised, then privatised leaving communities with little power over their energy generation.

With our new local energy system, there are opportunities for villages, towns and cities to go back to generating their own energy again. In doing so, energy can become a benefit rather than a burden to the local economy.

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC has been set up to help the communities for Burnham and Weston take advantage of this opportunity.

Meet the team

Jake Burnyeat

Jake Burnyeat

Tom Cosgrove

Tom Cosgrove

Denys Rayner

Denys Rayner

Lynda Wookey

Lynda Wookey

Find out more about our team

Get involved

Our solar project provides a solid foundation on which to develop a local energy enterprise with the benefit of a £10 million seed asset supporting the enterprise for the next 25+ years. We hope Burnham and Weston Energy CIC will go on to develop more initiatives that help generate income and energy for the community.

We would welcome interest from local organisations that would like to get involved or have ideas for potential partnerships. Please get in touch.

Contact us

If you have any questions or are interested in getting involved, please contact us: 01209 705423 

Registered office

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, c/o Communities for Renewables CIC, Redruth House, Cornwall Business Park West, Redruth TR16 5EZ

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