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Shared Community Ownership

of Renewable Energy systems

All about shared community ownership under the Community Energy Strategy's voluntary protocol

Keep updated – follow us on Twitter @SCO_RES

Acronyms relevant in community energy:


Community Energy (we'll try not to use this abbreviation)


Community Energy England


The Community Energy Strategy


The Department of Energy and Climate Change - the ministry responsible for the Community Energy Strategy


Distribution Network Operators who manage the electricity grid to which renewable generators connect


The Enterprise Investment Scheme offering tax incentives for investments in certain businesses


The Financial Conduct Authority which regulates Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies and crowdfunding


Indepent Power Producer - a company which owns and operates decentralised generating stations


Shared Community Ownership


The Shared Ownership Taskforce


A company or partnership established as a Special Purpose Vehicle to undertake a project

Terminology, acronyms and definitions

Even in the community energy sector, we can't seem to avoid all sorts of buzzwords and acronyms, however hard we try.

Here is a guide to the expressions used in the website and in the voluntary protocol. Some of the main acronyms used in the sector are explained on the right.

Where we refer to the Taskforce, we mean the Shared Ownership Taskforce established by DECC, as further described here.

A developer is a commercial organisation planning a renewable energy project, and will normally be responsible for identifying sites and obtaining consents. The developer may not be the eventual owner of the project.

The word communities is used here to mean recognised community enterprises. These may not yet be legally constituted when negotiations commence, but will need to be when they enter legal agreements.

Shared community ownership is defined on this page. Examples of some of the more popular models each have their own shorthand title in the Taskforce report:

Split ownership, where the commercial and community partners each own their own part of the plant - see more here

Joint ownership, where the community and commercial partners form a joint venture or SPV which owns the plant - see more here

Shared revenue, where the community buys the right to a share of the project's income (but doesn't own the plant itself) - see more here

We also discuss other participation options, which do not amount to shared community ownership; and some examples are given here.

The Taskforce proposed a threshold of £2.5m above which projects were of sufficiently significant scale to justify offering shared ownership.

Crowdfunding is the way of funding a project or venture by raising equity and/or debt contributions from a large number of people, typically via the internet. See more here