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New solar array at Warwick Hospital

Community Energy Warwickshire has doubled the size of its solar PV arrays at Warwick Hospital after installing another 50 kWp array on the top of the new Beauchamp/Greville/Thomas ward block.

The installation was organised and completed in just over two months to help South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, the owner of Warwick Hospital, to discharge a planning requirement for the new building.

After agreeing to take on the project in early October 2015, Community Energy Warwickshire specified and tendered the project, raised over £55,000 in new share capital, and appointed Eco2solar to undertake the work. With Government changes to Feed-in Tariff rates imposing tight deadlines, Eco2solar completed the installation just before Christmas.

“We are pleased we have been able to help the Trust discharge its planning obligations – and to increase the amount of solar PV capacity locally,” said Community Energy Warwickshire’s Chair, Keith Sinfield. “The Government’s plans to make major reductions to Feed-in Tariffs made it vital that we moved quickly to ensure the project was financially viable – and we are grateful to all those who invested in the project at such short notice.”

The new array brings the total solar PV capacity installed on hospitals run by South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust to 170 kWp.

Community Energy Warwickshire boosts local projects fund

Community Energy Warwickshire is increasing its funding to local communities in the coming year by making more money available through its grant scheme for energy projects.

The grant scheme, which is administered for Community Energy Warwickshire by the Heart of England Community Foundation, makes available grants for energy-related projects in Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire. Grants are available for projects which aim to increase the energy efficiency of community buildings, raise awareness of energy issues, help develop energy industry skills, and tackle causes of fuel poverty.

During the current year, Community Energy Warwickshire has made available £5,500 to the scheme, which has helped to fund five local projects. In the coming year funding will increase by a third to £7,365.

Community Energy Warwickshire’s Chair, Keith Sinfield, who sits on the Heart of England Community Foundation committee that awards the grants, said: “Community Energy Warwickshire is a community benefit society. We put aside a third of our profits each year to fund grants that can tackle energy issues in the communities where we operate. In this way we aim to spread the benefits of local renewable energy as wide as possible.”

New faces on Community Energy Warwickshire’s Board

Two new members were elected to Community Energy Warwickshire’s Board at the society’s AGM on Saturday 20 June 2015.

Marc Eberhard, a lecturer in Electronic Engineering at Aston University, and Ruth Grinbergs, a recently retired property lawyer with interests in environmental law, were elected to the Board at a well-attended meeting in Church Lawford Village Hall. They replace retiring directors James Pavitt and Peter Pettifor.

The meeting had previously received Community Energy Warwickshire’s Annual Report and Accounts for 2014, a year which saw the installation of another 60 kWp of solar PV arrays on roofs at local hospitals. The year also saw the start of Community Energy Warwickshire’s grant scheme, which is administered by Heart of England Community Foundation. Five grants have been awarded during the year to help communities with energy advice, building insulation and energy audits, and the meeting approved a proposal to increase the amount disbursed through the grant scheme in 2015 in line with the rise in Community Energy Warwickshire’s turnover.

Following the AGM, a Special General Meeting was held to discuss and approve changes to Community Energy Warwickshire’s constitution to bring it into line with recent legal changes. The new constitution will now be sent to the Financial Conduct Authroity for regsitration.

Community Energy Warwickshire funds local projects

As part of its commitment to benefitting local communities, Community Energy Warwickshire has set aside £5,000 in 2014-15 to grant-fund energy projects by local communities and organisations.

The fund, which is administered by Coventry-based Heart of England Community Foundation, has so far given grants to five local organisations.

  • Coleshill Community Partnership – to fund a monthly drop-in advice session on energy efficiency and reducing energy use in the home
  • Coventry & Warwickshire Media Community Ltd – to fund an energy assessment of the premises they use to provide training and work experience for unemployed young people
  • Old Saltleians RFC – to fund the cost of materials to insulate the clubroom roof (the club carrying out the installation itself)
  • Salford Priors Memorial Hall – to fund the roof insulation of an extension of the Hall
  • Stretton-on-Fosse Village Hall – to contribute to the costs of replacing its 20-year-old windows with modern energy efficient units.

The fund, which is unusual in its focus on improving energy efficiency and relieving fuel poverty, has proved immediately popular, and Community Energy Warwickshire will be contributing a third of its operating profit to the fund for grants in 2015-16.

Celebrate the sun!

Community Energy Warwickshire members will be celebrating the sun on Saturday 25 October, when they gather at Leamington Spa Hospital to mark the successful installation of two arrays of solar panels on local hospitals.

A large 50 kWp array has been installed at Leamington Spa Hospital and a smaller 10 kWp array on a new office building on the site of Warwick Hospital as part of Community Energy Warwickshire’s Solar-powered Hospitals project. The project started in 2011, when solar panel arrays were installed on roofs at Stratford on Avon and Warwick Hospitals. The new arrays double the size of the project.

The installations have been paid for by the members of Community Energy Warwickshire, who have bought shares in the co-operative with members being paid a return of 3 per cent on their share holding. South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, which owns the hospitals, benefits from cheap electricity from the solar panels.

“We are pleased to be able to celebrate the successful completion of our second major installation of solar panels with those who have helped make it possible,” said Keith Sinfield, Chair of Community Energy Warwickshire. “Community Energy Warwickshire aims to benefit communities in the county through investment in local sustainable energy projects.”

The celebration will take place at 11.00 am on Saturday 25 October at Leamington Spa Hospital, Heathcote Lane, Warwick CV34 6RS. For more details, contact Community Energy Warwickshire on 01789 290736 or at

Still time to invest

There’s still time to invest in Community Energy Warwickshire’s latest solar PV generation scheme.

The first part of the scheme – the installation of 50 kWp of solar panels on a roof at Leamington Spa Hospital in Whitnash – has now been completed. And the panels generated over 3,500 units of electricity in their first fortnight!

Community Energy Warwickshire is now moving on to the second part of the scheme – the installation of a 10 kWp solar PV array on a new office building on a site adjacent to Warwick Hospital. Final technical details have recently been sorted out with Eco2solar, the Kidderminster-based company which is to carry out the installation.

“So far we have raised nearly £78,000 for this latest scheme,” says Keith Sinfield, Chair of Community Energy Warwickshire. “We’re now seeking the £10,000 needed to complete the second element of the project.”

Full details, including a revised share offer document, are available on the Community Energy Warwickshire website at

Go ahead for solar panels at Leamington Spa Hospital

Community Energy Warwickshire’s latest project, which will put more solar panels on the roofs of local hospitals, has passed an important milestone with work now scheduled to start of the installation of a 50 kilowatt solar array at Leamington Spa Hospital early in June.

The installation was given the green light by Community Energy Warwickshire’s Board after hearing that the share offer launched to raise funds for the project had already raised over £60,000.

And there’s also been good news on the follow-on project at Warwick Hospital, where the aim is to install an array of solar panels on a new office building. The building – which had not even started when Community Energy Warwickshire launched its share offer to raise funds for the installation – is now nearly complete, and work is under way with the appointed panel installer to finalise plans for the installation.

“Although we are going ahead with the first phase of installation, our share offer will continue,” said Community Energy Warwickshire Chair Keith Sinfield. “We need another £40,000 to complete the two installations and double the size of our innovative solar-powered hospitals project.”

Solar hospitals power ahead

Over a quarter of the money needed for Community Energy Warwickshire’s new solar-powered hospitals project has been subscribed in the first two weeks of the share offer and the scheme has received a further boost with the news that income tax relief will be available on investments.

Community Energy Warwickshire launched the second phase of its solar-powered hospitals project on Monday 31 March, aiming to raise £110,000 to install over 80 kWp of solar panels on roofs at Leamington Spa Hospital and Warwick Hospital. In the first two weeks of the share offer, which runs until the end of June, £28,750 has been subscribed – an excellent start, according to Community Energy Warwickshire’s secretary, Barbara Cooper.

Barbara has also received from HM Revenue and Customs a letter giving advanced assurance that investments in the share offer will qualify for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief. This means that investors will be able to claim back 30 per cent of the cost of their investment as relief against their income tax payments. “This means a £500 investment will actually cost the investor just £350 if they are able to claim against their income tax,” said Barbara.

For more information about the share offer – and to find out hos to invest – click the green button on Community Energy Warwickshire’s website at

Invest in green energy for local hospitals

An innovative scheme to provide more renewable energy at local hospitals took another step forward today when Community Energy Warwickshire invited local people to invest in the second phase of its solar-powered hospitals project.

Community Energy Warwickshire installed arrays of solar panels at Stratford and Warwick hospitals just over two years ago. The installations help South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the hospitals, to make savings on electricity bills and carbon emissions.

Now Community Energy Warwickshire is working with the Trust again to install more solar panels on the main building at Leamington Spa Hospital in Whitnash and on a new office building on the Warwick Hospital site – a plan that will double the amount of green energy available through the scheme.

“Our first solar-powered hospitals project was unique,” said Community Energy Warwickshire Chair Keith Sinfield. “It was the first time an NHS body had worked with a local community group in this way. As well as helping the hospitals to make savings from the electricity generated, we have been working with them to promote energy saving among staff.”

At the same time, Community Energy Warwickshire has used income from the project to fund energy efficiency work with local communities in south Warwickshire – something it plans to develop in the future by setting up a charitable trust to fund energy efficiency schemes and help people in fuel poverty.

Now Community Energy Warwickshire is inviting people to invest in the second phase of its solar-powered hospitals scheme. It is aiming to raise £110,000 to pay for the new installations. Investors are being offered a 3 per cent interest rate on their investment, together with the opportunity to help local communities benefit from energy efficiency and renewable energy.

If you want to know more, see Community Energy Warwickshire’s website at or phone 01789 290736 to ask for a copy of the detailed share offer.

Another bright month for solar-powered hospitals

February 2014 was another bright month for Community Energy Warwickshire’s solar-powered hospitals project.

The month saw over 2,800 units of electricity generated by Community Energy Warwickshire’s solar panel arrays on roofs at Stratford upon Avon and Warwick hospitals – nearly 25 per cent more than in the same month last year. The month also saw daily peaks of generation matching those last seen in October 2013 – a sure sign that winter is on the way out!

For a copy of this latest monitoring report, contact Community Energy Warwickshire.