The voice for Social Enterprises & Social Entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland. Connecting, supporting, developing and sustaining vibrant businesses to create social change.

 

NICE - Northern Ireland Community Energy

NICE is the first solar community owned co-operative in Northern Ireland. This new, not-for-profit enterprise is run by a group of volunteers with a track record in renewable energy and co-operative models. While traditional energy companies aim to maximise profit that reaches a small number of individuals, NICE’s community-owned co-operative is based on a decentralised and far more equitable model that helps the environment, helps the local community, and is built upon principles of fairness.

Target/Sector Group

  • Community Owned Energy
  • Co-operatives and BenCom
  • CVSE sectors

Social Aims and Impacts

  • Nine community buildings with new solar panels reducing their electricity bills
  • PV panels will save 888 tonnes of CO2 during their lifetime, compared to burning fossil fuel
  • 110 kW electricity generated from renewable solar energy

     

NICE’s primary focus is the local community and its environment. It is taking forward renewable energy initiatives that will make a difference economically, socially and ecologically to society. 

To date, NICE has already raised 90% of the £150,000 target in order to install PV solar panels on buildings that are owned by third sector organisations such as community groups and charities.

The enterprise also offers free installation of solar panels to a number of third sector organisations. These groups will benefit from electricity at a greatly discounted price for twenty years – while also supporting a more environmentally sustainable method of producing energy.Whilst it gives a modest interest payment as a return to its investing members, 4% forecasted, one of its primary objectives is creating a community benefit fund which will allow it to roll-out further renewable energy projects to local communities.

Whilst it gives a modest interest payment as a return to its investing members, 4% forecasted, one of its primary objectives is creating a community benefit fund which will allow it to roll-out further renewable energy projects to local communities.

NICE is a Community Benefit society meaning that participating building owners and individual investors co-own the enterprise on a ‘one-member one-vote’ basis.

NICE has been supported by Co-operative Alternatives, a co-operative commissioned by the Building Change Trust to run its Community Shares, Ready! pilot project to increase awareness of Community Shares in Northern Ireland.


Organisation: Northern Ireland Community Energy

Address: c/o Unit 40a, North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG

Contact number: 028 9073 6075

E-mail: info@nicommunityenergy.org

Website: www.nicommunityenergy.org