M&S Energy Society is an investment offer, members of the public can apply to invest in a fund from which M&S will install and maintain solar panels on up to 9 M&S store roofs. It expects to pay its investors (Members) into the fund a return on their investment and to benefit the local community through money allocated for a community fund.
M&S is participating by donating our roof space on the 9 chosen stores.
M&S Energy Society is the trading name of Two Rivers Community Energy Society Limited which is a Community Benefit Society. The Society was registered with the Financial Conduct Authority on 08 April 2015.
A review of all M&S Stores took place at the start of this project. The 8 stores were chosen as sites for a solar PV array because they met a set of requirements specified by M&S Energy Society. These included a structurally suitable roof, long lease / ownership of the store, good road access, and ease of construction.
M&S Energy Society is administered by Energy4All to conduct its share offer and to administer the Society once the share offer is successfully closed, including holding and updating the share register, making annual interest and redemption payments.
The Society is governed by a constitution, and the constitution rules can only be changed by member vote, i.e. the investors into the Society.
The Board will be responsible to the Members for the management of the project with Energy4All.
M&S Energy Society conducts business for the benefit of the community. The community benefit fund is estimated to generate over £500,000 over the lifetime of the project.
M&S Energy Society is open to suggestions from Members for what community projects the fund may be donated to.
The return to members comes in the form of an interest payment. We aim to pay members an initial annual return of 5%. After 3 years, and each year after that, the rate of interest paid will be increased by inflation. We anticipate being able to pay interest to members by the end of year 1 of operation.
Please note that the return to investors is not guaranteed – please read the risks outlined in the share offer document carefully and seek independent financial advice.
The income from the solar PV Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and from selling the electricity generated to M&S will be used to pay the operating costs of the Society which are:
- Operation, monitoring and maintenance costs of the solar panels
- An administration fee to manage the solar panels, sell the electricity and collect the FIT, manage the Society and its finances and liaise with members
After paying all these costs we are estimating that the solar PV project will generate an average annual net return of about 10%, from which we can pay members’ interest on their investment, repay members’ capital and contribute to the Community Fund.
Each installation will result in a reduction of CO2 emissions released by M&S stores. The total installation on the 9 stores will be 891kW solar PV arrays resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions equivalent to approximately 425 tonnes of CO2 every year over the lifetime of the project.
In addition, the Community Fund will look to support local community projects that reduce carbon emissions, for example building energy efficiency improvements or installing further renewable generation.
The main part of the return comes from the income earned for the electricity generated through the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and the sale of electricity to M&S. M&S Energy Society will benefit from the FIT scheme for 20 years, and has negotiated electricity prices with M&S to provide electricity to their stores at a guaranteed price. Once commissioned, the 20-year RPI linked FIT income is set by government legislation and will not be affected by any future changes in FITs for new projects. Therefore the main risks to the projected return are:
- Lower than expected sunshine over the 20-year lifetime of the project
- Higher operational costs than planned
- Physical security/continued operation of equipment
- Disposal of site – If M&S dispose of any of the assets which have solar panels on them, they will pay an appropriate amount into the Society
No. As a Community Benefit Society, M&S Energy Society is not required to be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to issue shares which are non-transferable. This exempts the share offering from the requirements of an approved share offering required by section 85(1) of Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). Therefore your investment is not protected by any investor compensation or dispute resolution schemes.
The shares are not specified investments for the purposes of section 22 of FSMA pursuant to paragraph 76 of FSMA (Regulated Activities) Order 2001. Therefore you do not have the protection that you would otherwise be offered under FSMA. In particular, the share offer documents do not need approval by FSMA. Our share offer document has however been verified by both legal and financial specialists.
Shares in M&S Energy Society cannot be sold or traded. You may withdraw some or all of your shares, at the sole discretion of the Directors.
Investors in community renewable energy projects used to be able to claim tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme. However, these opportunities were withdrawn by the Treasury effective from 30 November 2015.
When you are paid interest on your investment, you are required to declare it on your tax return if you make one. Basic rate tax payers can receive £1,000 of interest each year tax free and higher rate tax payers can receive £500 of interest tax free. Interest paid by the Society may therefore be tax free if it falls within Members’ tax free band.
Your shares can form part of your inheritance and may be transferred under the terms of your will, or will be dealt with as part of any other arrangements made if you die intestate.
The Society is owned by its members and each member has one vote at AGMs, regardless of the amount invested.
Directors who are members will receive interest on any investment they make in the same way as all other members. Directors are not remunerated and do not receive any other benefit.
This project was pre-accredited for FIT rates before the latest set of rule changes were announced in 2015 and will not be subject to any changes made in the future.The main part of the targeted return comes from the income earned for the electricity generated through the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) and the sale of electricity to M&S. M&S Energy Society will benefit from the FIT scheme for 20 years, and has negotiated electricity prices with M&S to provide electricity to their stores at a guaranteed price. This project was pre-accredited for FIT rates and will not be subject to any changes made in the future.
Once commissioned, the 20-year RPI linked FIT income is set by government legislation and will not be affected by any future changes in FITs for new projects.
Under the rules which govern the electricity market, community energy schemes cannot supply electricity to their members directly. All electricity generated will be sold to M&S to support their Plan A objectives in procuring renewable energy.
M&S is supporting the project by donating our roof space and buying the energy off the Society for a guaranteed price for the next 20 years. This means M&S Energy Society have a guaranteed income and we support the Community Benefit Fund.
We will look to replicate this project to support further renewable energy installations on M&S stores dependent on financial viability and future government subsidy.