CEGAM intends to set up a community interest company (CIC) as a vehicle to raise funding for and to implement renewable energy projects. A CIC is a relatively new type of company introduced by the UK government in 2005, designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good. CICs are intended to be easy to set up, with all the flexibility and certainty of the company form, but with some special features to ensure they are working for the benefit of the community. They have proved popular and some 10,000 have registered in the status’s first 10 years.
A CIC is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. CICs tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues and operate in all parts of the economy. By using business solutions to achieve public good, we believed that CEGAM can play a distinct and valuable role in helping create a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive local energy economy in our community.
The primary features of a CIC status are:
- Assets owned by the CIC are held in an asset lock which secures those assets to applications for the good use of community.
- Limitations applied to dividend and interest payments made to shareholders and financiers ensure a profit can be made, but the primary focus remains on achieving benefit for the community
As we identify appropriate projects we will be offering the local community opportunities to invest in our CIC to fund specific projects and to share in the benefits.