Over a third of Scots admit to living in fuel poverty

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Over a third of Scots admit to living in fuel poverty and believe renewable energy investment is the best solution

74% of Scots believe fuel poverty is an issue that must be solved urgently

56% of millennials in Scotland affected by fuel poverty

19th March 2018, Edinburgh: New research from Mongoose Energy – the UK’s largest manager of community-owned renewable energy assets  and Our Power – a UK non-for-profit energy supplier set up to tackle fuel poverty, shows that over a third of Scots (36%) admit to living in fuel poverty, with this affecting over half of those aged 18-34 (56%). With fuel prices continuing to rise, 38% of Scots consider investment in renewable energy projects as the best solution, preferring this to increased regulation and fuel price freezes, whilst three quarters (74%) are calling for the crisis to be dealt with as a matter of urgency.

To help tackle the situation, Mongoose Energy and Our Power have partnered to launch a new community organisation dedicated to harnessing the power from two Scottish community-owned wind power projects to offer cheaper electricity to those most in need. The wind farms, based in Pogbie, East Lothian, and Brockholes, Berwickshire, will be seeking to raise £3,045,000 to fund the projects, across both bond and equity offers, with all surplus profits – an estimated £1,900,000 over 25 years – invested into helping alleviate fuel poverty in Scotland. This effort aims to reduce the number of people who have to spend more than 10% of their household income just to keep their houses heated to a basic level.

Further research from Mongoose Energy has demonstrated that almost two thirds (60%) of Brits are seeking exactly these sorts of investment opportunities, where they have the chance to ‘do good’, rather than just making a profit. 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, with many choosing investments in ethical funds and renewable energy due to the guarantee that their money 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%).

Those investing in Mongoose Energy’s bond and share offers, launching on 28th March, will be able to take advantage of inflation-linked target interest rates which, whilst they may rise and fall over 20 years, currently deliver returns of 6.6% and 8.1%* respectively. Investors will also have a stake in local renewable energy generation, as well as seeing the real impact their investment has on helping to reduce fuel poverty across Scotland.

*Please note that capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Alister Steele, Chair of Our Power: “Our Power’s ambition includes securing a long-term supply of renewable energy. This innovative initiative will create the potential to not only secure local renewable energy in a cost effective way, which will help us deliver our social mission of tackling fuel poverty, but provides the potential for wider community investment in the assets.  Directly linking renewable generation and not-for-profit ownership to addressing fuel poverty is a really exciting breakthrough.”

Mark Kenber, CEO of Mongoose Energy, commented: “The findings of this research show the critical levels to which fuel poverty has risen in Scotland. It demonstrates that an increasingly purpose-minded public is seeking out alternative ways to invest their money in ways that help solve major issues such as this. Their investment choices are no longer driven solely by potential rates of return but also by a desire for a tangible, positive impact on their community.

“The bond and equity offers in Pogbie and Brockholes provide these investors with the chance to earn competitive rates of interest on their investments, whilst also making a huge impact on the lives of others. We have committed to ensuring that the profits generated by the project are used to help make energy more affordable for all, providing much-needed funds to help end fuel poverty in Scotland.”

Those wanting to join the waiting list, or wishing to find out further information on opportunities for investing in £2,875,000 of community-focused investment opportunities, should click here before 28th March.

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.

– ENDS –

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.

Our Power

Our Power is a not-for-profit energy supplier, owned by social housing providers, community organisations and local authorities. Its aim is to make energy fairer for all members of society.

Our Power aims to reduce heat and fuel costs by passing benefits from the energy sector to our communities. It does this by not paying dividends to shareholders, by finding the most efficient ways to operate, by generating its own power and by reinvesting any profits to benefit customers and their communities.

About Our Community Energy

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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)

Scottish Investment Bank

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is the investment arm of Scotland’s main economic development agency, Scottish Enterprise, operating Scotland-wide in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise. It manages a suite of co- investment funds including the Scottish Co-investment Fund and the Scottish Venture Fund, which are partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the Renewable Energy Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government.

SIB is also an investor in Epidarex Capital’s life sciences fund and is a participant in the Scottish European Growth Co-Investment Programme funded by the Scottish Growth Scheme alongside the European Investment Fund. SIB provides a team of Financial Readiness specialists to help companies prepare for new investment and access appropriate finance. SIB’s activities support Scotland’s SME funding market to ensure businesses with growth and export potential have adequate access to growth capital.

Renewable Energy Investment Fund

The Renewable Energy Investment Fund (REIF) was launched in October 2012 and is delivered by the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise – on behalf of the Scottish Government and its Enterprise Agencies.

Its aim is to promote the use of energy from specific renewable sources and drive further investment into key areas of Scotland’s renewables industry. With £103 million of funding available to provide commercially priced loans, equity investments and guarantees, REIF invests in projects that support the delivery of energy from a renewable source or represent an innovative renewable energy technology. Areas of anticipated demand for REIF include projects that will; accelerate the growth of the marine renewable energy sector in Scotland, increase community ownership of renewable energy projects in Scotland or support district heating networks that utilise renewable heat technologies. The underlying goal of REIF is to grow the renewables industry in Scotland and all projects will demonstrate potential economic benefits.

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.