BRADFORD Community Energy (BCE) has launched a major new initiative to help community centres across the district develop and finance renewable energy assets.

The scheme has been inspired by the success of over 200 community energy projects across the country and allows local residents to invest from £100 up to a maximum of £22,000 in local renewable energy projects across Bradford, with an ambition to replicate existing schemes to community-owned buildings in the district.

The renewable assets linked to this share issue are solar panels and a ground source heat pump to power the Bradford Trident Park Lane Centre where the launch of the scheme took place, and are modelled to avoid around 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

The electricity and heat generated will enable the society to benefit from the Feed-In Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive schemes.

As well as enabling the development of carbon saving assets, the scheme will also generate a community benefit fund, which is being set up to tackle fuel poverty in Bradford that affects more than one in eight households across the district.

The share offer invites people to invest for an expected 3.25% annual return. Full details of the scheme and how to apply can be found on the Bradford Community Energy website:

Bob Cannell, Director of Bradford Community Energy said: “These shares are an opportunity for local communities to support local action on addressing climate change with a practical scheme to reduce carbon emissions and support community assets.”

Imran Hussain, MP for Bradford East, said: “The need to tackle our carbon emissions and deliver a cleaner, greener and more sustainable environment to pass onto our children could not be more urgent, which is why it is so important that we as a city and as a country set ourselves the bold but achievable ambition for reaching net-zero by 2030.

“However, we will only be able to fulfil this bold ambition by drastically increasing our usage of renewable energy sources such as this ground source heat pump at the Park Lane Centre and other initiatives.

"Ultimately, it will be local, community-led schemes like this that will lead the way and I am proud to be supporting this fantastic initiative in my constituency and look forward to further exciting developments in the future.”