M&S Customers Invited To Invest In A New Community Energy Scheme
- Published: Friday, 01 July 2016 10:02
M&S and Energy4All have launched M&S Energy Society – an exciting new initiative designed to generate renewable electricity from solar panels installed on M&S stores from Cheshire Oaks to Cheshunt.
The project is a unique collaboration between a major retailer and community energy organisation.
The Society is inviting Members to invest £100 to £100,000 towards solar panels which will be installed on up to nine M&S stores. M&S will then buy back the energy to power its stores. The Society is targeting an interest rate of 5% each year for its Members; parents and grandparents can also purchase shares on behalf of children or grandchildren.
As well as providing an alternative investment opportunity for ethically conscious customers, each installation will result in a reduction of CO2 emissions released by the M&S stores. The initiative will also help to fulfil M&S’s green energy commitment; to ensure that 50% of electricity used in its UK and ROI building operations comes from small-scale renewable sources by 2020.
After paying interest to its Members, any remaining funds will be invested back into the community, helping to deliver M&S Energy Society’s social and environmental aims; Members will decide which causes will benefit from the money raised.
Lydia Hopton, Plan A Project Manager at M&S said, “This project is a great opportunity for customers to invest in green energy and help the environment, while also supporting local community groups. We’re really excited that M&S will be the first retailer to launch a scheme of this kind”.
Mike Smyth, Chair of Energy4All said, “There’s a real appetite for community energy funds. With community energy, investors can see the tangible difference their investment makes. Every pound invested means more solar panels, increasing renewable energy generation and cutting carbon emissions every day. We’re really pleased to be working with M&S and are looking forward to getting started”.
Lord Bourne, Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said, “This new initiative from M&S is an excellent example of private enterprise working with its customers to produce clean, green energy and support local community groups. I would urge other companies to follow suit.”