About us

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC is a new local energy company which generates electricity from the sun which converts into income to support community projects in the Burnham and Weston area and help 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. Local people and organisations can share the sunshine and have a say in how we are run by investing in our solar bond offer which has already raised £4million! The company 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 enables people and organisations to invest and have a say in the governance of Burnham and Weston Energy CIC.

Our solar bond offer has already raised £4 million and is still open.

Keep me informed

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 and the first funds available from July 2018.

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 will launch an energy and fuel poverty advice service to be 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.

Apply for a GrantLearn About our Fuel Poverty Campaign

Share the sunshine

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

The solar bond offer is raising between £1.3million and £4million. Investments can be made from £200; roughly equivalent to 2 of our 36,000 solar panels!

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 will 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!

Our solar bond offer has already raised its £4million target but is still open for investment – visit the Triodos Bank Crowdfunding website for more information.

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. Opportunities include working with CSE to raise awareness of and deliver the energy and fuel poverty advice service, developing the criteria for the community grant fund, and raising awareness amongst organisations that could potentially benefit.

To find out more about the community grant fund or energy and fuel poverty advice service please get in touch.

Contact us

If you have any questions, are thinking of investing or are interested in getting involved, please contact us: 01326 567 161 or use the form below.

Registered office

Burnham and Weston Energy CIC, Communities for Renewables CIC, Tremough Innovation Centre, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9TA

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