Low Carbon Record Month

 Britain set a new record in August – it was the lowest carbon our electricity has ever been.

If we’re going to beat climate change and become a zero carbon economy, the biggest task  is cleaning up our electricity system. There’s plenty of others like transport, heating, food, industry, and planting more trees, and on most we aren’t moving anything like fast enough, but on electricity we’ve come a long way, and August 2019 was a record.

It’s the second time the record’s fallen this year, with March the previous best. That record needs to keep on being beaten and it happening twice in one year is very good news!

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Every year we build more renewables and cut out more coal, and we used hardly any coal at all this August. We have more solar than ever before, and more wind, and this year August was both sunny and windy. Britain’s nuclear power plants were mostly back up and running again too after some had down time for maintenance, so this August we burnt less fossil fuel for electricity than we have for decades. Have a look at www.mygridgb.co.uk if you want to find out more.

We need to keep up the momentum, and we at MaidEnergy love making our local contribution to that with our solar panels!

New Share Offer Now Live

MaidEnergy Launch group photo

Would you like to invest in community energy?  The government are ending the feed-in tariff, the old system of support for solar, and this year is our last chance to claim it. Community energy co-ops like MaidEnergy have until March 2020 to install solar and connect it to the grid. So we’re working with 10 community buildings in the Maidenhead and Windsor area to take the opportunity.

We are currently seeking £350,000 of investment to install solar on them all. The minimum investment is only £100 to enable as many people as possible to be part of it. We’re aiming to pay 5% interest for 20 years, as well as returning investors’ capital by the end of that time.

The closing date is 22 July, or when we reach £350,000, whichever is sooner.

Our vision is clean energy, locally owned. We’re a members’ co-op, we fight climate change by installing solar panels, we pay a decent return to investors, and we serve our community by cutting local community groups’ electricity bills.

2019 is a big year for the climate, and for us.  If you’re interested in being part of it, go to our share offer site

2017-18 Report and Accounts

Here are MaidEnergy’s Report and Accounts for the year from October 2017 to September 2018.

It was a good year in which we generated slightly more electricity than forecast, made a surplus of £13,773, paid our first dividend to members of 2.5%, and were left with £53,290 in the bank to put towards new developments in 2018-19.

At the 2019 AGM we voted to give members our second annual dividend of 4%.

Accounts 2018 MaidEnergy

MaidEnergy AGM Minutes 12 March 19

 

2019 AGM

2019 AGM

The Annual General Meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 12th March @ Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 4PF.

New members are welcome to join us – we can discuss future projects and how you might like to be involved.

Michael, Leah, Sean, Ben & Nicola

Community Energy South news

We were featured in Community Energy South’s news this month.

Maid Energy
We heard the latest news from Nicola Davidson, Director of MaidEnergy Co op:

“Maid Energy are racing against the clock to engage with owners of community buildings and schools in and around the Maidenhead area to access their roof space for solar.  Aiming to use either ROOFIT or more favourably, the Micro Generation Certification Scheme, we’re pushing to get in-principle agreements by end of March.  Christmas caused us delays and interest is poor – probably because our offer seems too good to be true.  But it is true!  We’re volunteers, doing this as we’re committed to reducing carbon emissions, and we’ll only profit if we choose to invest personally.  Sound familiar?  Do contact us if you have any words of wisdom… maidenergy@outlook.com

Community Energy South logo

2017 Report and Accounts

Here are our report and accounts for 2017 – from 1 Oct 2016 to 30 Sep 2017 to be exact.

We generated 92.6 MWhrs of power over the year, compared to 30.84 MWhrs the year before. This saved approximately 13 tonnes of CO2.

Financially, our income was £25,028 and costs were £15,990, so we made a surplus of £9,038, compared to a £1,095 deficit the year before. This allowed our first interest payment to members, at 2.5%.

It was a good year.

AGM on Tuesday 17th April

Our 2018 AGM was held on 17th April 2018, reflecting on a good first full year of generating

2016-17 was our first full year of generating from all our solar panels from our sites at Norden Farm Arts Centre in Maidenhead, and The Magna Carta School in Egham, where we have panels on two separate buildings. We were pleased that we generated slightly more electricity than we forecast we would. From October 2016 to September 2017, which is when our financial year runs, we generated 92.6 megawatt hours of electricity, and saved around 13 tons of CO2.

That means we made a profit for the year of £9,000. We paid out our first dividend, at 2.5%.

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Putting solar panels on the roofs of community buildings is a great way to tackle climate change and help community groups, but at the moment the government cuts to the feed-in tariff means it takes a long time to earn back the cost of installing the panels, and it’s hard to make it viable. If the costs of solar panels and the inverters that connect them to the grid keep falling, that will improve, and we expect they will.

What else have we been up to?

We’ve been funded by the Urban Community Energy Fund to explore opportunities for solar panels and large-scale batteries on much larger roofs than we’ve looked at before. One was at industrial estates, where we decided that the model is only likely to work when businesses own their own premises rather than renting them. This means we’ve pioneered a good approach for our sector, which we and UCEF will share, but there’s no local opportunity in it for us.

The other option we looked at was working with university campuses, and it could be that a viable partnership could come about with Royal Holloway, University of London (RHUL), in Egham.

We thanked Mike Austell, who resigned as a Director in order to go back to the U.S. Mike helped us to understand the importance of energy storage, and to explore its potential. Ben Niblett, who works for Tearfund and campaigns on climate change, has taken his place as Director.

We’d love to hear your questions or ideas at any time, not just the AGM. Please do get in touch by emailing maidenergy@outlook.com or via our Facebook page or Twitter @MaidEnergy.

We’re helping produce clean energy to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint, serve local community groups, and give a fair return to members.

Leah Robson

Chair, MaidEnergy

Looks like a good year

In September 2016 we finished installing our solar panels at The Magna Carta School in Egham, and now we have the figures for a full year’s generation. They’re looking good.

maidenergy-9 (photo credit MaidEnergy/MrShutterbug)

 

We’ve generated more than we expected to at each of our sites over the last 12 months – Norden Farm Arts Centre in Maidenhead where we have 38.5 kw (kilowatts), 49.4kw on the roof of Magna Carta main site, and 10kw on the roof of Magna Carta S block.

We’re very pleased with that. It means we’ve generated more clean energy than forecast, sold more to the grid than forecast, and reduced our partners at Magna Carta and Norden Farm’s carbon footprints and electricity bills more than forecast too. It means we’re probably on course to start paying interest to shareholders at a rate of 3% for 2017. We’ll be confirming the recommended amount and putting it to members at our AGM early in 2018. We’ll also be able to confirm whether we’ve just had a sunnier year than average or we’ve been too conservative with our generation forecasts and should expect more each year in future – we’ll compare with other solar generators in the area to see.

 

Smoothie Bike Fun

We are really excited to be promoting new forms of energy with a Love Smoothie bike at this weekend’s Egham Magna Carta day and next weekend’s Virginia Water Carnival Capers.  Both events are fun community events with stalls from local Scouts and Guides, sports clubs, charities and businesses.  You are sure to find plenty to watch and enjoy if you come along.

Photo courtesy of Love Smoothie Bikes

Photo courtesy of Love Smoothie Bikes

While you are there come and make a smoothie on a Love Smoothie  bike and chat to us on the MaidEnergy stand. MaidEnergy seek to develop and deliver local renewable energy projects and engage communities, individuals and local businesses in doing that.  If you’ve got an idea for a project, whether it be solar panels for your street, or draught proofing the house of your elderly neighbour, we’d like to help you make that happen.  The more people get involved, the more local needs we can meet.

We have already mobilised investors and put solar panels on The Magna Carta School and Norden Farm Arts Centre.  These panels are on track to produce enough low carbon energy to power 25 homes each year.  All funded by people looking for an ethical investment and wanting to give something back to the community.

So come and talk with some of our existing volunteers at one of these events.

Then what better use for your very own personal renewable energy, than making smoothies on a hot June day? There’ll be plenty of cake and food stalls on hand for you to renew your energy once you’ve worked hard to make a smoothie on one of our bikes.

We’ve also got a solar panel display and are on hand with discounted LED spotlights to help you reduce your energy consumption and bills in your own home.

 

Come and see for Yourself

MaidEnergy AGM Invitation

25th March, 11am – Magna Carta School, Thorpe Road, Staines Upon Thames, TW18 3HJ

Thanks to our members’ investments, MaidEnergy was able to install clean, renewable energy at the Magna Carta School and Norden Farm Arts Centre last year. Come and hear more about how MaidEnergy achieved this and our plans for the coming year. We have an exciting line up of speakers who will give their insights into the future of the energy world.

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Agenda

11am – Refreshments and a tour of the solar panel installation at the Magna Carta School

11:30 am – Leah Robson and Sean Walters, MaidEnergy Directors: The Future for Solar in the UK. Grid flexibility, electric cars and battery storage are the big changes supporting the future growth of solar in the UK, but how do these things fit together?

11:50 am – Nicola Davidson, MaidEnergy Director and Grants/Funding Expert: The Future for MaidEnergy. MaidEnergy currently have a grant from the Urban Community Energy Fund to find a way forward to community energy following the FiT cuts. Hear about how we are progressing and who we’re working with.

12:05 pm – Annual General Meeting, Chairs Report, Treasurer’s Report and election of Directors. This is your chance to ask questions and put forward ideas.

12:30 pm – Mike Austell, MaidEnergy Director and Energy Consultant: The Battery of the Future. Mike will present on a different kind of battery, designed to be used at scale to help balance the grid demand at large industrial sites.

12:45pm – 1:00pm Lunch and close.

Parking is available on site. Any queries, or to confirm attendance, please contact us at MaidEnergy@outlook.com. You can view the Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30 September 2016 here.