ACE co-operative has launched its public membership scheme, for the first time welcoming members of the local community of Glastonbury, Wells and the Mid-Somerset area.
Following on from Avalon Community Energy’s (ACE) successful application for a Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) grant and subsequent hiring of staff and consultants to support the cooperative’s development, ACE are now opening up to shareholders.
Membership costs a one-off fee of £10 that entitles a person or organisation to a single vote in ACE. A shareholder has the right to vote at the AGM and other shareholder meetings and is able to stand as a Director, as well as vote on the current ones. Prospective members can sign up via the ACE website www.avaloncommunityenergycoop.co.uk or at any event where ACE are present.
ACE Director, Maddy Milnes, says:
“Becoming a member of ACE allows you to have a say in the running of the organisation and a stake in its future activities. ACE is determined to bring a resilient community-owned renewable energy supply to the Mid-Somerset area and by joining the society, you will be helping to bring this about.”
As a multi-stakeholder Community Benefit Society, ACE have a two-level membership of local ‘Community’ and ‘Supporter’ members. The current launch is open to Community members only, those living or working in and around Mid-Somerset – the area in which the organisation works. ACE will channel profits from all activities back into the community via a community benefit fund targeting energy poverty.
ACE are currently in discussions with land and building owners across the area to establish the locations for their first solar installations. The grant from RCEF is funding the work as they seek to launch their first community share offers in 2015. ACE remain keen to speak to anyone in the West Mendip area who support the energy project, especially those with land or large buildings that may be suitable for use. A public meeting will be held in Glastonbury in April, with a venue to be confirmed.
Director Maddy Milnes adds:
“We are confident that 2015 will see ACE launch its first portfolio of community-owned solar power and bring us a step closer to the secure and resilient energy supply that this area needs. To help make this happen, we need the support of the people here. Membership is a great way of showing you care about the future energy status of Somerset.”