LCE has raised £184K through two community share offers in summer 2015 and 2016 – 70 people, mainly from Lymm and the surrounding area, have invested and are now members of LCE. Some of these people have invested on behalf of their children and grandchildren who will become members when they reach the age of 16.
LCE pays share interest to its members and any surpluses, after operating costs, is transferred to a separate Community Benefit Fund to help finance projects which reduce energy costs and carbon emissions for community organisations.
This investment has been used to fund the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on the roofs of all four primary schools in Lymm with a combined capacity of 126kWp. It has also been used to fund the installation of energy efficient, LED lighting at three of the schools.
The solar PV systems have generated 236,839 kWh of clean electricity to the end of September 2018 This has saved x tonnes of CO2 emissions. Two-thirds of the electricity generated by the PV systems has been used by the schools. Financial savings to the schools so far has been about £y.
The PV panels provide a superb educational resource for the schools. They are a lasting reminder of the benefits of renewable energy. There is a wealth of data available from the on-line monitoring systems which can be used for educational purposes. Over the 20-year period of the projects, this will benefit thousands of school children in Lymm. The schools are now looking into how they can reduce their energy bills further by monitoring their energy use and cutting unnecessary wastage.