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M&S and Energy4All launch new clean energy initiative M&S Energy Society

  • M&S and Energy4All launch M&S Energy Society
  • Members of M&S Energy Society can  invest between £100 and £100,000 to fund solar panels on nine M&S stores, with a targeted interest rate of 5%
  • M&S buys the energy generated from the solar panels to power its stores

LONDON, 2016-Jun-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (16 Jun 2016) M&S and Energy4All have launched M&S Energy Society – an exciting new initiative designed to generate renewable electricity from solar panels installed on M&S stores from Cheshire Oaks to Cheshunt. The project is a unique collaboration between a major retailer and community energy organisation.

The Society is inviting Members to invest £100 to £100,000 towards solar panels which will be installed on up to nine M&S stores. M&S will then buy back the energy to power its stores. The Society is targeting an interest rate of 5% each year for its Members; parents and grandparents can also purchase shares on behalf of children or grandchildren.

As well as providing an alternative investment opportunity for ethically conscious customers, each installation will result in a reduction of CO2 emissions released by the M&S stores. The initiative will also help to fulfil M&S’s green energy commitment; to ensure that 50% of electricity used in its UK and ROI building operations comes from small-scale renewable sources by 2020.

After paying interest to its Members, any remaining funds will be invested back into the community, helping to deliver M&S Energy Society’s social and environmental aims; Members will decide which causes will benefit from the money raised.

Lydia Hopton, Plan A Project Manager at M&S said, “This project is a great opportunity for customers to invest in green energy and help the environment, while also supporting local community groups. We’re really excited that M&S will be the first retailer to launch a scheme of this kind”.

Mike Smyth, Chair of Energy4All said, “There’s a real appetite for community energy funds. With community energy, investors can see the tangible difference their investment makes. Every pound invested means more solar panels, increasing renewable energy generation and cutting carbon emissions every day. We’re really pleased to be working with M&S and are looking forward to getting started”.

Lord Bourne, Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said, “This new initiative from M&S is an excellent example of private enterprise working with its customers to produce clean, green energy and support local community groups. I would urge other companies to follow suit.”
Notes to Editors

How interest is calculated:

  • M&S Energy Society plans to pay Share Interest annually in arrears on the balance of each Member’s shareholding with the first payment being made in September 2017.
  • Members should receive return on their investment targeted at an annual rate of 5% for the first three years.  After the third year the targeted interest rate will be increased by the rate of inflation in the previous three years, and each year after the third year the targeted interest rate will be increased by inflation in the previous year.
  • As an illustration, if inflation is 2.5% each year then the targeted annual rate of interest is as follows:
Year Years 1-3 Year 4 Year 6 Year 11 Year 16
Targeted interest rate 5% 5.38% 5.66% 6.4% 7.24%
Members’ investment held by The Society £1,230,000 £1,045,500 £922,500 £615,000 £307,500

This table also shows how Members’ investment is targeted to be repaid during the life of the Project.  The effect of repaying the investment is to reduce the amount of capital on which Interest is paid and to correspondingly increase the profits of the Society which are paid to the Community Benefit Fund.

The Project has a modular structure and the targeted rate of return is not dependant on successfully building on all 9 sites.
Other solar projects:

  • M&S’s first store installation was completed at Muswell Hill in 2010.
  • In March 2015 M&S completed the installation of the UK’s largest single roof mounted solar panel array on its East Midlands distribution centre in Castle Donington. It spans the site’s 900,000 sq ft roof and generates over 5,000 MWh of electricity per year, the equivalent amount of energy to power 1,190 houses.
  • Energy4All projects have raised over £50 million to construct and operate community-owned renewable energy generation at sites throughout the UK.

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