Impact investment on the rise as consumers seek higher returns.

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Impact investment on the rise as consumers seek higher returns, ethical funds and increased transparency

60% of consumers want their investments to ‘do good’, not just do well

Only 8% of consumers know how their money is used once invested, despite two thirds wanting this transparency

New research from Mongoose Energy, the UK’s largest community-owned renewable energy company, shows that today’s impact-driven investors are more willing than ever to invest in higher risk funds, provided that their money is used to deliver tangible and ethical impact.

The research reveals that two thirds (60%) of consumers today would prefer their investment to ‘do good’, as opposed to investing in less impactful, lower risk options. This is a growing trend, with a fifth (21%) of people saying that they are more likely to invest in this type of fund now than they were five years ago. Renewable energy and ethical investments are two of the preferred options for achieving this impact, with nearly a quarter (22%) of people considering in investing in each of these products over the next year.

Similarly, almost a quarter (24%) would consider investing in an ethical fund that shares its profits with the local community or supports renewable energy generation. Community-owned renewable energy projects, such as those managed by Mongoose Energy, do exactly that, with investors’ money being used to develop or acquire the projects, generating potential returns for them and profits that can be used to support local organisations and fund community projects. For consumers, the main motivators for preferring these types of investment options are knowing that their investment will be used to ‘do good’ (25%), a desire for higher interest rates (32%), and the poor performance of current investments, such as cash ISAs (17%).

This desire for impact has also led to consumers demanding more transparency about how their money is used once invested, with two thirds (61%) stating this as important to them. Despite this, however, only a small proportion (8%) were aware of these details across their own investments, indicating dissatisfaction with the levels of transparency and genuine impact provided by most investment options. Both this dissatisfaction and the desire to ‘do good’ with investments was consistent across age groups, bucking the accepted wisdom that millennials are more likely to hold this view than others.

Mark Kenber, CEO of Mongoose Energy, commented: “The findings of this research show an increasingly purpose-minded public of all ages seeking out alternative ways to invest their money. Their investment choices are no longer driven solely by high rates of return but also by a desire for tangible, positive impact on local communities.

With the public now demanding that their money is invested in ways beneficial to a broader group than just themselves, 2018 is showing all the signs of being the year that investing in community energy goes mainstream.

Those interested in finding out more about investing in community-owned, renewable energy can visit the Mongoose Energy website, or join the waiting list ahead of the upcoming launch of over £6 million in community-focused investment opportunities.

Please note that investing in the projects promoted by Mongoose Energy puts your capital at risk and returns are not guaranteed. Please read the full risk warning on https://www.mongoosecrowd.co.uk/risk before deciding to invest.

About Mongoose Energy

Mongoose Energy (www.mongoose.energy) works with community groups, project developers and investors to develop, finance and manage community-owned renewable energy installations. The organisation is majority-owned by the community energy groups it works with, and profits go back to the local communities that developments are located in.

Mongoose projects are funded through the crowdfunding platform Mongoose Crowd (www.mongoosecrowd.co.uk), where investors can see a range of offers for community-owned renewable energy developments across the UK.

About Heart of England Community Energy (HECE)

  • 75 acres – equivalent to 50 football pitches
  • 60,000 solar panels – that’s two for every person who lives in Stratford-upon-Avon
  • 7MW output – capable of powering 4,500 homes
  • 25% – solar power can now provide a quarter of the UK’s electricity demand

Summary of bond offer (HECE)

  • Issuer: Heart of England Community Energy
  • Members’ interest: 5% paid annually (returns are not guaranteed)
  • Incentive: Additional 1% interest on first year’s return for those investing before offer reaches 50% of target
  • Funding target: £1,000,000
  • Offer opens: 28th March, 2018
  • Offer closes: 30th April, 2018
  • Term: Four years
  • Minimum investment: £500
  • Maximum investment: £100,000
  • Target profits shared with local causes: £2.7m over 25 year period (target of minimum of £30,000 paid per year)

About Our Community Energy (OUCE)

  • Three wind turbines are operational in Brockholes, generating up to 2.4MW
  • Pogbie will have 12 turbines in operation by the end of 2018, generating up to 9.7MW
  • The 12.1MW of energy that these sites will have the capacity to generate will be capable of powering 9,000 homes

Summary of bond offer (OUCE)

  • Issuer: Our Community Energy
  • Members’ interest: RPI-linked interest rate, currently at 6.6%. Interest is paid annually (returns are not guaranteed)
  • Incentive: Additional 1% interest on first year’s return for those investing before offer reaches 50% of target
  • Funding target: £1,200,000
  • Offer opens: 28th March, 2018
  • Term: 20 years
  • Minimum investment: £500
  • Maximum investment: £100,000
  • Target profits shared with local causes, combined with share offer: £1.9m over 25 year period (target of minimum of £75,000 paid per year)

Summary of share offer (OUCE)

  • Issuer: Our Community Energy
  • Members’ interest: RPI-linked interest rate, currently at 8.1%. Interest is paid annually (returns are not guaranteed)
  • Incentive: Additional 1% interest on first year’s return for those investing before offer reaches 50% of target
  • Funding target: £1,875,000
  • Offer opens: 28th March, 2018
  • Term: 20 years
  • Minimum investment: £500
  • Maximum investment: £100,000
  • Target profits shared with local causes, combined with bond offer: £1.9m over 25 year period (target of minimum of £75,000 paid per year)

About the research

The research referenced in this release was commissioned by OnePoll, following a survey of a representative sample of 750 consumers living in Scotland, as well as a separate survey of a representative sample of 2,000 consumers living in the UK. Further details on this are available on request.