Co-operative Energy has called on the UK Government to extend its social enterprise tax relief proposals to include charities, co-operatives and web-based crowd-funding platforms that “champion” community energy generation.
The mutual said that, with tax treatment similar to venture capital, such enterprises could unlock “billions of pounds” of private investment capital and ‘radically improve’ the provision of low-carbon energy in the UK.
Ramsay Dunning, General Manager, Co-operative Energy – who gave evidence to the Westminster parliament’s Select Committee on Energy in its recent investigation into fuel price rises, -said: “We are pleased to see that tax relief for social enterprise is firmly on the UK Government’s agenda and welcome this consultation.
“We urge Government to ensure that co-operatives receive tax relief at a generic level; that the size requirement for qualification should be as flexible and generous as possible; that tax relief should not be limited to a maximum of €200,000 per investee and consideration is given to the rapidly growing crowd-funding of debt.”
“We’re not seeking special advantage but rather want to bring this type of investment into line with other tax-favoured investments. This will ensure exponential growth in community energy in the UK, lower prices and challenge the domination of the Big Six energy providers.
“If the Government’s forthcoming Community Energy Strategy and Social Enterprise Tax Relief proposals are up to scratch, and joined up, we could really see this sector take off, and the UK make some serious headway on its renewable energy targets.”