Posted on 27/06/2017 10:59:28

First Mongoose Crowd Bonds go live


The UK’s first ISA-eligible community energy bonds go live on Mongoose Crowd offering
Bath and Bristol investors cleaner energy, tax-free financial returns, and better social dividends.

To mark ‘Community Energy Fortnight’, the UK’s first dedicated community energy crowdfunding platform – Mongoose Crowd – has launched its first green energy bonds offers to investors. This is the first time UK investors will be able to buy community energy bonds in a tax-free Individual Savings Account (ISA) wrapper

The two initial bond offerings this week total over £2 million and endorse Mongoose Crowd’s innovative market entry last week. Both bond offers will support the refinancing of a portfolio of solar projects near Bath and Bristol to enable community groups to develop other clean energy projects in the region.

The first offer is from a well-established community business set up in 2010, Bath & West Community Energy (BWCE) – one of the leading community energy enterprises in the country and a founding shareholder in Mongoose Energy.  BWCE’s bond offer has been highly anticipated because of its eligibility for the new tax free Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA). The solar projects BWCE is looking to re-finance were built in December 2011 with a loan from SSE and are proven projects that have performed above expectations since. As the interest on the loan rises this year, re-financing will increase the surplus available for community benefit and offer an opportunity to widen participation further by replacing commercial debt with people powered investment. Raising funds now will also provide BWCE with a small fund to invest in new renewable energy projects as they are developed.  
Peter Capener, Executive Director, Bath & West Community Energy said: “We are very excited about being able to offer the UK’s first ISA-eligible community energy bond on Mongoose Crowd. The commitment and enthusiastic support from our members and bondholders has been the foundation for our success to date. We hope that even more people will want to get involved in helping us build a powerful community response to our energy needs that makes sound sense for people’s pockets and for the planet.

Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC) is also launching a new highly anticipated bond offer this week. The bonds are eligible to be invested through the Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) and will be used to fund the first ever community-owned battery storage project incorporating the latest Tesla battery technology. Additional funds will be used to reduce current borrowing costs and repay short term loan facilities.
Andy O’Brien, Director, Bristol Energy Cooperative said: “Following the success of our fund raise last year and the enormous popularity of our community owned schemes, we are delighted to launch our second bond offer using the unique Mongoose platform. As well as repaying previous loans, our new crowdfund will deliver our ambitions for increased generation of community-owned energy. We are also developing a number of innovative new energy schemes both renewable energy generation and storage, including the installation of a 100kW Tesla battery at a new sustainable housing site. Back in 2016, people were responsive to the opportunity to increase community-owned energy assets; our new bond offer provides another chance to join us as we continue our energy revolution for all.”