Think global, act local: Sheffield Renewables’ story
The climate emergency is already affecting communities around the world and on our doorstep. From extreme weather events to the degradation of nature, burning fossil fuels is having a disastrous impact on our homes and societies. It’s more important than ever to come up with energy solutions that are sustainable and renewable, and even better when we can do it locally!
In 2007, a group of volunteers came together to consider how they could make Sheffield a more sustainable place to live. With a love for living and working in Sheffield, but a worry about the climate impact of the city, these volunteers came up with a solution that would benefit the local community as well as the environment. Sheffield Renewables was formed as a community benefit society, run by volunteers and owned by members.
‘We want to decarbonise local energy production to benefit the community.’SHEFFIELD RENEWABLES
Real community impact
Now, they fund, develop, own and operate renewable energy schemes, which are financed through investment from members of the community. Profits are then reinvested to benefit people locally and globally through their Community Benefit Fund. So far, they have raised around £300,000 through community shares! Reinvesting the money they make into local projects tackling the climate crisis means that we benefit locally from this project and can see the real impact in our neighbourhoods.
Sheffield Renewables have installed solar panels on a school in Rotherham, South Yorkshire Police Headquarters in Attercliffe, High Green Development Trust Paces Campus, and Lembas, a wholefoods cooperative in Heeley. A key aspect of this work is saving these partners money on energy bills, meaning they can be more economically sustainable, and therefore more able to serve their communities in the long-term. They have also had a global impact, with around 10% of their profits being shared overseas.
Their future plans – they need you!
‘We’ve generated 900,000 kilowatts of clean energy, and counting!’SHEFFIELD RENEWABLES
Sheffield Renewables hope to continue to grow, but they need your help! Keep reading to find out more about getting involved.
Expanding their partnership – The most common way of partnering with Sheffield Renewables is to lease them roof space to install solar panels and they will provide you with the electricity at a discounted rate. They have an established record of developing and delivering reliable and easy-to-maintain solar photovoltaic panel projects with a range of partners and building types. Get in touch if your organisation is interested, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could you become an investor? – Perhaps you have limited time, but a bit of spare cash. Sheffield Renewables offer opportunities to invest in their work. Their shares are offered as a social investment for individuals and organisations, with the aim of providing an attractive ethical investment opportunity. The best way to be notified of opportunities is by signing up to their newsletter here.
Could you volunteer? – Sheffield Renewables lists volunteering opportunities on their website, which you can view here.