The solar division of British Gas has announced a new partnership with two social enterprises for projects worth up to £60 million.
Up to 8,000 schools, councils and community buildings across the UK are to benefit from the initiative, with the solar installations expected to help them save up to 40% on their electricity bills. Communities will also be able to buy shares in the projects and will receive a financial return.
British Gas Solar will be the contractor for the installations, Social Finance will raise the cash for the projects while Generation Community will oversee the projects.
They will target energy projects where proceeds are re-invested into the community through local social enterprises and energy education programmes.
Richard Speak, Head of Sustainable Communities at Social Finance said: “Community energy deals can act as catalyst for mainstream investment markets to align financial returns with tangible social impact. These deals help alleviate fuel poverty for our poorest households and bring the financial benefits back in to the communities.”
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society said he hopes “this will be the first of many similar partnerships”.