START AN ENERGY COOPERATIVE IN SEVEN STEPS
The energy cooperatives are sprouting like mushrooms all over the world. And with a good reason, you save 7.5 Euro cents per kWh on energy tax. In addition, the cooperative will also receive compensation from the energy supplier. In total, the benefit can be up to 14.1 cents per kWh. That saves a sip on a drink, and many people ask themselves: how does it work?
Step 1: Collect an initiative group of enthusiastic local residents
Make sure you gather a number of enthusiastic people in an initiative group to do the start-up. It is important that this group is a reflection of the local community and consists of citizens and involved members of local organizations, including the municipality.
– local municipality
– residential foundation / corporation
– business association
– sports club or dome
– local bank
Organize an informative meeting and research whether interested parties to inform people about the advantages of energy cooperative (LEC). Search for volunteers that help you with this and involve them in the organization from the start.
Think of the following questions:
– Where are you now?
– What can you do?
– What do you need?
– What are the services / products you want to develop / purchase for the members?
– What are the costs and benefits?
– How do you plan to organize that?
– Has it been done anywhere else and if so how?
– What are the risks?
– Whom can we involve?
– Communication plan member recruitment
– Communication plan vision, mission and awareness
– Why this working group (and sub-working groups)?
– What do we want to achieve?
– How are we going to realize that?
Step 2: Location
If possible the energy source must be as close as possible to the users in the district. For example, you can think of solar panels on the roofs of schools, large warehouses or a local football stadium.
Step 3: find a partner
There are a number of parties that have already set up initiatives to support energy cooperatives. They help with every step of the process, and you also have an energy partner directly. In the Netherlands for example Greenchoice is actively supporting groups that want to start a cooperative.
Step 4: Write a business plan
Request quotations for the costs of the panels or other energy sources. Calculate the return and quantify these facts in a clear business plan. If you do not have experience with this yourself, involve an expert, or ask other cooperatives toi share their knowledge.
Step 5: Recruit members
If all goes well, you have already gathered a group of enthusiastic local residents to help you, but it is now time to recruit more members. The number of members of energy cooperatives differs. Members must of course be prepared to invest financially in the project.
Step 6: Establish co-operation
The cooperative must be established at the notary. Statutes must be drawn up, and a board appointed. But with the help of one of the partners above or a friendly notary, this should not be a problem.
Step 7: Building the installation and energy production
The construction of the installation can begin. When the installation is ready, you can start enjoying a well-earned return on your investment.