The Caplor team are committed to continually pushing the Climate change and energy agenda and at all levels within its immediate and wider community. Our mission and whole business is geared towards an environmentally and socially sustainable business that fully endorses and values the third pillar of genuine sustainability – that of economics.
It is with this back drop that we welcomed MP for North Hereford Bill Wiggin to Caplor to view our wide ranging facilities on site and meet the team to discuss the issues that face us and immediate policy specifics. During the visit Bill kindly described Caplor as a ‘’centre of excellence’’ and certainly engaged fully in the issues although it was also apparent his slightly wandering attention toward his love of agriculture and particularly our pedigree Hereford cattle.
Our main theme was really trying to push home how the issues of environmental and social sustainability and the huge commitment and cost associated with this are not at odds with the desire to have positive economic growth and improving living standards. Indeed once the issues are understood – investing into energy efficiency, generation and positive social gain all help our economy at every level, domestic, business, community, national and international.
At Caplor, Bill was able to see firsthand how positive financial investment here in his rural constituent was creating jobs whilst saving huge sums on imported energy that could then be further reinvested locally to create more positive contribution to the economy instead of money flowing outwards from the UK economy. This is irrespective of any belief or otherwise into the ‘’yes and no’’ of the climate debate – Sustainable business simply is good business. On that front it was encouraging to hear Bill reinforce to us that the Govt is genuinely behind the climate and energy agenda and indeed great steps are being made, for example, under this Govt over 500,000 properties now benefit by producing their own energy plus many other measures. Bill and others in the Govt do get frustrated with individuals at Westminster who appear to simply just not get it and incredibly still choose to try and play arm chair scientist by disagreeing with tens of thousands of Nation backed scientists who point out climate change is 97% unequivocal and that we must act far faster and with greater commitment if we are to reduce the huge negative economic impact and further disasters that it is accepted await us.
For many weeks we have been hit with the worst rainfall in recorded history of some 250 years and this is costing extreme social and economic problems. Experts are pointing out that this type of weather will increasingly become the norm and this level of extreme may only be the footnote to the very dangerous territory that we are allowing ourselves and our children to enter. As individuals, with our Governments positive backing we can combat this and at the same time create a better and cleaner society whilst boosting an otherwise difficult economic situation. Our current system and planet cannot cater for the soon to be 9 Billion people. We have the technology and skill to boost our economy and provide a sustainable future; we also have overwhelming support from our voting public. We now need consistent, positive policy and support from our leaders.
For further information please contact Mel Preedy, Business Development Coordinator on 01432 860644 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the success of their first micro hydro co-operative share offer last autumn, Llangattock Green Valleys is planning a second share offer, to launch this spring.
A total of 100 people – mostly local – bought shares in our first co-operative, ensuring they raised the full £270,000 needed to fund the development and construction costs of two community micro hydro schemes – one in Llangattock, one just outside Crickhowell. Construction of those schemes is due to begin in late spring, and they should be generating clean, green, renewable electricity by the autumn.
Now, with a second share offer, they’re aiming to raise £690,000 to build a further four micro hydro schemes in the Brecon Beacons National Park. These new schemes will generate some 355MWh of electricity a year – enough to power 90 average Welsh homes. They’ll also generate income and, once running costs have been paid, any surplus will be divided equally between Members and a special Community Fund Based on our projections, the share of surplus to Members should provide a return of 5% per annum, averaged over the 20-year life of the project. Plus there’s potential for attractive tax relief benefits through the Enterprise Investment Scheme.
The Community Fund, meanwhile, will benefit to the tune of some £550,000 over the life of the project, with this money being used to develop further sustainable projects in the Brecon Beacons National Park area – a win all round!
Come and find out more about this great renewable energy opportunity at the launch presentation on 3 March, from 6-7pm at Llangattock Primary School, NP8 1PH.
Alternatively, the team will be in at the Parish Hall in Hay-on-Wye on Tuesday evening 25 March, from 7-9pm.
Or you can pop along to one of their Friday drop-in sessions, starting 8 March, from 10am-1pm at the Crickhowell Resource & Information Centre, Beaufort Street, Crickhowell NP8 1BN.
Mention our name on the application form if you decide to buy shares and Llangattock Green Valleys will donate 1% of the value of your subscription to Herefordshire New Leaf, to help us in our work! How good is that! :)
To find out more, visit the Llangattock Green Valleys website, click here.
You can also email email@example.com, or call free on 0800 216 0905.
The Directors LGV Ventures and Llangattock Green Valleys Micro Hydro (2) Co-operative
Local storyteller, Carol Graham, is delighted to announce the opening of the new Story Space Studio and from the beginning of February 2014 she'll be based at the beautiful Grange Court in Leominster.
Set in the park in the centre of the town Grange Court is a stunning 17th century building. Originally it was a Market Hall and after many changes of use over many years it has now been renovated and extended to become a Community, Enterprise and Heritage Hub.
Over the coming months Carol hopes to create a programme of day workshops and weekly courses, and to develop exciting new educational and community arts projects. In the summer she'll be offering gentle movement sessions with "Tai Chi Movements for Wellbeing." The studio is also a home for Story Play - a Social Enterprise Company set up in 2012 to provide high quality Storytelling and Storymaking programmes for children and their families.
Charities and Community Groups in the Leominster area are being offered the opportunity to run a charity shop for a week to raise funds, promote activities and recruit volunteers. Based on a model similar to the community shop in Kington – where groups regularly make £1,000 or more in a week – the High Street shop is now taking bookings to rent for a week at a time.
The venture has been set up by the Leominster-based charity Oaks, which provides nursery care and support for Leominster families, at the Honey Bees and Daisy Chains nurseries.
To find out more or to book a week in the shop contact Pip Westwood on 01568 613274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Energy Development Fund Manager £29,000 plus travel and expenses
Robert Owen Community Banking Fund Ltd (ROCBF) is a social lending company providing fairer and more affordable access to finance to both individuals and businesses across Wales. ROCBF, with Community Energy Wales, has been funded by the BIG Lottery’s People and Places Fund to support the growth of community owned renewable energy projects across Wales. This takes the form of both revenue and capital funding. The aim of these funds is to assist community groups to finance the development phase of their schemes. This will help them progress more speedily through to planning and construction stages. As this is a new scheme the Manager's role will be to set up the Fund within our existing framework and programme of loans, to then launch the scheme to communities across Wales, and to be responsible for its ongoing administration and management.
The post is initially a fixed term contract for three years, with the intention to continue subject to funding. It is being developed and delivered in partnership with Community Energy Wales.
MAIN TASKS: To set up and oversee the development and operation of a new Community Energy Development Fund. Supply practical and technical support to new and existing community energy groups across Wales, including those from within socially disadvantaged and marginalised localities. Develop applications, and commissions needed prior to the construction of, renewable energy installations. To work in partnership with Community Energy Wales and other stakeholder organisations in sourcing, supporting and developing groups in the sector.
SKILLS REQUIRED An aptitude for working with community groups and volunteers who maybe trying to develop complex schemes. An ability to assess and prepare a financial case for investment support to a community scheme. An interest in, and knowledge of, renewable energy technologies. A team player, but able to lead and take initiative. Experience of, or strong empathy for, working in the third sector Driving licence, your own vehicle and willingness to travel within Wales.
FFI go to : https://rocbf.co.uk/employment_opportunities and follow the links to PDF downloads.
Anyone wondering what they should think about fracking? … wondering whether it is really ok - perhaps we need shale gas to fill the gap while other reliable heat sources are found for our boilers?
... have a look at the Frack Free Herefordshire website. The site is packed with information, and offers the position on fracking from WWF, the Cooperative and RSPB amongst others. Everything from engineering reports to planning guidance
… and lots on our two proposed Herefordshire fracking sites: Eastnor and Fownhope.
This local campaign aimed at Herefordshire MPs is geting near to its target number of signatories. The petition asks our MPs to address the danger of a 'business as usual' attitude to Climate Change and properly represent our concerns. Click here for more details.
Sharenergy are very proud to say they are involved in 4 great share offers at the moment - spanning wind, hydro, solar and woodfuel technologies and across a swathe of the UK from Somerset to the Highlands via Mid-Wales and Leicestershire.
It really feels as if the community energy revolution is starting to happen.
It may be a little while until the next group of share offers comes along so if you have any funds to invest then now is a good time - all of these co-ops also accept applications for membership on behalf of children (who become members when they reach 16) - as a gift it beats socks hands down!
First to end on 9th November is Wedmore Solar For those with an aversion to risk this is a pretty good choice as it is already built! In fact you can attend the launch party on 2 November - see website for details. 80% of shares sold to date.
Next up on 30 November is Llangattock Green Valleys Micro Hydro which is set fair to be Wales' first hydro co-op. This is only the first of an exciting 'pipeline' of hydro projects put together by this brilliant organisation. 30% of shares sold - they need and deserve your support.
Also ending on 30 November is Dingwall Wind Co-op's share offer. Remarkably, it will be Scotland's first 100% co-op owned wind turbine. 75% of shares sold already - but be aware that if you live in England you'll probably not be allocated shares as local demand is so great.
Last chance to buy shares this year and ending on 11 December is JCC Community Woodheat This is in some ways the most ambitious project of them all - aiming to heat an entire school with locally sourced woodchip. Uptake has been slow to date but has picked up recently - they've sold 42% of shares so far and have put in an enormous amount of hard work. If you're not so familiar with the technology then please do feel free to call them or us with questions - it's a very well thought-out project which offers great social, environmental and financial returns. You can even buy shares online at http://www.microgenius.org.uk/project/jcc-community-woodheat-10
At the same time Sharenergy are working with a lot of projects at an earlier stage of development. Initial development funding and support for community groups is more available than it used to be so if you have a project in mind please get in touch and they can help you apply to the various sources. They're always happy to chat through options and ideas if you're just starting out too.
They're also running a couple of very early-stage 'pioneer' share offers with projects who need funds to get them through planning. They don't publicise these widely because they are inherently more risky - but if you'd like to consider supporting projects when they most need your support then please contact Sharenergy to discuss in more detail.
PS. A note on tax. The projects listed above have taken steps to qualify for 30% EIS tax relief. If granted that means if you put in £1000 you'd get £300 back off the taxman. You don't need to do self-assessment, be wealthy, or invest more than £250. Each project is different so see project share offer documents for details. HMRC will not make a binding commitment that a share offer qualifies for EIS until it is up and running so there are no promises - and while most taxpayers will qualify you should check with HMRC that you do. There are further possible tax benefits to EIS such as reduction in Capital Gains Tax. Pioneer share offers are designed to attract SEIS tax relief at 50% and if the project fails loss relief should also be available - so a 40% taxpayer might only risk £300 when buying £1000 of pioneer shares.
More at www.sharenergy.coop
Employers sometimes begrudge the cost of training – time away from the office, expensive courses and a backlog of work, however the benefits to an organisation can be far reaching. A 300% reduction in staff turnover has been demonstrated in businesses which invest in training – this saves approximately £522 per employee annually.
Caplor Energy have a reputation for staff and environmental investment – this week has been no exception with six members of the Caplor Energy team visiting a training centre in South Wales to learn more about their products and services.
The dedicated training centre provided an excellent opportunity for the team to be able to develop competencies to provide expert renewables advice to clients.
This was followed with the two National renewable energy industry exhibitions later in the week, which provided further opportunities for developing knowledge and expertise keeping Caplor and its team constantly at the forefront of the renewable sector.
MD Gareth Williams commented "Our Company values are Inspired, Sustainable, Improvement, demonstrated by our commitment to ensure our team take opportunities at both personal and professional levels which enables us to be in the best possible position to inspire others”. This investment in people is one of the cornerstones of Corporate Social Responsibility, which is championed by progressive businesses around the globe.
Again this week, Caplor had the honour of hosting Charles Handy, a global leader in business thinking and social philosopher. Mr Handy comments that businesses want to feel they are contributing in some way and improving the world, hence the rise of corporate social responsibility.
Even the smallest of businesses can make a commitment to improve the social wellbeing of their staff. Inspired training and development opportunities are a great start on this journey.
If you would like to find out more about how your business could benefit by operating more sustainably, please get in touch with Mel Preedy, Caplor Energy 01432 860644 or email: email@example.com
You can learn more about corporate social responsibility in this short 5 minute video of Gareth Williams:
Findings from a recent poll suggest that 81% of Brits are in support of further solar panel deployment across the UK. This is very much the case in Herefordshire where Caplor Energy has been working with a number of schools and village halls who are keen to find out more about the benefits of renewable energy.
Last week work finished on installing two solar PV systems at Brookfield School, Hereford. This system will not only save the school hundreds of pounds in electricity costs, provide an income guaranteed for 20 years, but most importantly will play an instrumental role in educating our children about the importance of renewable energy. As Anika Brown, Brookfield School Bursar, explains “Both the primary and secondary school have a screen which displays key facts about the electricity generation and carbon saving – it provides an excellent teaching tool and is used by Eco-School, School Council as well as during lessons”.
Caplor Energy was recently asked to attend an ‘Environmental Supermarket’ organized by Herefordshire Council, where schools were able to find out about the range of environmental initiatives on offer. Caplor Energy firmly believes that the environmental, educational as well financial benefits of renewables should be made available to all. Caplor Energy recognizes that the upfront cost of installing renewable energy systems can often be prohibitive for community groups such as Village Halls and Schools, which is why they are able to offer a scheme which allows the cost of the system to be repaid over a number of years. Caplor Energy is committed to supporting community buildings which play a vital role within our communities but are often under resourced.
If you would like to find out more about how renewable energy could benefit you, your community or school please get in touch with Mel Preedy, Business Development Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or 01432 860644.