OUR MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Shareholder queries, about the park or our co-operative model
The following is a list of our most commonly asked questions. Some are specific to being a shareholder and others relate to the Solar Park or the co-operative model. If you can’t find what you are looking for then please just drop us a line at email@example.com or call us on 01367 610001.
Why can't I buy or sell Westmill Solar shares this month? (August 2017)
During this period, ongoing transactions may be finalised but no new transactions will be matched. Normal trading activities will resume on 01/09/2017. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Will a capital repayment affect the amount of interest I receive?
Distribution of profit is calculated by dividing the amount of monies to be paid out to members by the total number of shares. Everyone is subject to the capital repayment, so afterwards all members will hold proportionally fewer shares.
For example, if next year the co-operative has same amount of profit to be distributed, you would receive the same amount of interest, but you would have less capital invested and therefore would receive a higher return on your remaining capital – the interest payment per share would increase.
If you would like further clarification regarding this, please email email@example.com
When will I receive my annual payment?
What was the interest payment, agreed at the last AGM?
This year it was also agreed to make a capital repayment equal to 1 share of every 8 held by members. Following the 20% capital return that took place in 2014, this equates to one tenth of the share capital initially subscribed by members. This is broadly in line with the projections set out in our share offer document although to reduce costs (and possible confusion for members) we are not proposing to return capital to members as frequently as anticipated in that document.
More information can be found on page 4 of the AGM minutes and page 16 of the 2017 AGM official papers, both available to download from our members page.
Has the interest payment, agreed at the 2017 AGM, been made?
Can I opt to waive my interest payment to augment the Community Fund?
What if I've not received an interest payment?
Is a capital repayment subject to tax?
What payments have been made to date?
- 2p per share – 31/06/2014
- 10p per share – 31/06/2015
- 6p per share – 31/06/2016
- 2p per share – 31/12/2016
No interest payment was made in 2013. As stated in the fund-raising prospectus, we planned to make our first payment after the first full year of trading. As the Co-operative only became the owner of the solar farm on 31st October 2012, the financial year 2012 only included two months of trading. The first full year of trading for the Co-operative was therefore 2013 and a payment in respect of that year was made in 2014.
Historic capital repayments are as follows:
- 20% of shares in 10/11/14
What if I need my invested money back?
To help shareholders who wish to disinvest, Westmill Solar Co-operative has taken the decision to list on Ethex. This provides a platform where a shareholder who wishes to sell shares can find a buyer who is interested in buying them. It also makes it easier for Westmill Solar members to manage a portfolio of ethical investments. The provision of this service does not guarantee that you will be able to buy or sell shares, nor the price at which you may be able to do so; however it should make it easier.
What happens when I die?
How can I stay up-to-date on what is happening?
Who do you bank with?
Solar Park Questions
How is the Solar Park performing?
What happens if the panels are damaged or vandalised?
Can I visit the site?
Will you upgrade the solar park in future years as solar technology improves?
Co-Operative Model Questions
What does it mean that you are a Co-operative?
How much money did you raise?
Do local people receive a discount on energy bills as a result of involvement in the project?
Has this been done before?
Could Westmill Solar Co-operative help me set-up something similar?
Our board members convened and led discussions that helped shape what CEE should be and we provided some administrative capacity whilst this body established itself. Community Energy England has been established to act both as a voice for the sector and as an information hub to share knowledge and expertise.
In 2014 Westmill Solar helped out a neighbouring scheme in development – Charlbury Solar. Charlbury Solar needed a small amount of capital to secure their grid connection agreement, which Westmill provided to them on an ‘at risk’ basis. Westmill directors have also supported the formation of Cuckmere Community Solar.
If you are considering setting up something similar then there are a number of organisations whom you may wish to speak to regards co-operatives and community renewables: