Dash for cash launched to beat tax relief deadline

The UK’s community energy sector has launched a two-week race to raise £18 million.

The environmental charity 10:10’s Clean Energy Dash campaign pulls together 25 projects with live share offers – from wind in the Shetland Isles to solar on schools in Dorset – on an interactive website.

The “dash” follows a government decision to remove tax relief for community energy projects.

The Treasury will remove EIS, SEIS and SITR tax relief measures for subsidised projects from 30 November.  

Due to the admin costs involved in issuing a share offer for community energy, the minimum investment is often around £200. 

However, 10:10 are taking donations of anything of £5 upwards, and pooling them to make investments on behalf of supporters. 

"The British community energy movement has grown at an inspiring rate over the last few years,” said 10:10 Community Energy Campaigns Manager, Millie Darling.

“There are now 100s of active community energy groups across the country, and there’s a real appetite to build more too. 

“It is so frustrating to see the Government introducing policies, which halt this momentum and put a cap on people’s ambition. But together, we can help them hit their targets in time."

The new 10:10 chair and solar entrepreneur, Howard Johns, added: "The people want renewable energy, so much so that across the country they are setting up their own community-owned energy companies. This is an awesome example of people reclaiming the power in the face of a government that doesn’t have a credible plan for climate or energy. It is outrageous that these groups should be forced to raise money and build their projects under incredibly short deadlines solely due to knee-jerk policy changes."

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues