We’re a BenCom

Southern Staffordshire Community Energy Limited is a community benefit society (BenCom), a type of registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. It is similar to a co-operative in many ways, except a Community Benefit Society is set up mainly to benefit the community rather than, as with a co-operative, its members.

A community benefit society can raise funds by issuing shares (as SSCE has done) and pay a reasonable rate of interest to its members. The rate of interest should be the minimum sufficient to enable it to attract finance for its projects, but over and above that surpluses should be used to benefit the community.

Community benefit societies are run and managed by their members and must submit an annual return to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), with whom they are registered.

Our aim is to work for the long-term benefit of communities in Staffordshire by investing in renewable energy projects and energy-saving schemes. Our Rules and a copy of the latest report and Accounts can be downloaded here:

 

Rules of Southern Staffordshire Community Energy Limited

Latest Directors’ Report and Accounts

Community benefit societies are about creating value for communities – this is what gives them a unique character, and this influences our values and principles. They are democratic structures with the legal ability to raise money directly from members of the public.  With a ‘one-member-one-vote system’ and a majority of the board elected from the membership, they offer a fair and transparent way to operate a community-owned renewable energy business.  They also have the power to prioritise investment from the local area, ensuring that as far as is possible, financial benefits from renewable energy are felt by people in the locality.

To find out more about community shares, take a look at the Cooperatives UK video guide . It explains what community shares are and could help you decide if they are for you.