Solar Panels

SOUTH SOMERSET COMMUNITY ENERGY SOCIETY providing low carbon energy to our community since 2016


South Somerset Community Energy (SSCES) is a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society, whose aims are to reduce carbon emissions and fuel bills, especially for those in fuel poverty, throughout South Somerset.

The Society is owned by its Members (investors) and is governed by a Set of Rules approved by the FCA. A key point is that any surplus the Society generates has to be put towards other community energy and fuel poverty projects across the district of South Somerset.

We fund and manage renewable energy installations in the district of South Somerset, starting with installing solar PV systems on schools, community buildings, businesses and private homes. Our solar arrays are on roofs at Westfield Academy and Abbey Community Association's hall in Yeovil; Holyrood Academy in Chard and Stanchester Academy in Stoke sub Hambdon.

Extract from the Chairman’s Report for SSCES AGM, 30th May 2022

I am glad to report that your Society is in stable financial health. All its solar installations are functioning and delivering major savings to the schools and community centre on which they are installed, while providing a good return to investors. We have reached the point in our projects where we start to return capital as well as interest to investors, and we will propose to simplify this with your agreement. We are also offering to members who wish to withdraw more of their capital the ability to do so, which will be at the Board’s discretion within the financial plan.

Some problems have continued from last year with some further problems arising (see full report). Melissa Hancock stood down as Administrator, so it has been a steep learning curve for Alison Baker who has taken over this role. Zoe Godden is in the process of taking over from Judith Rabone keeping our accounts in order. Our Treasurer, Chris Adcock, has been reviewing our business plan and the shareholder repayment plan.

Any Member who wishes to add any resolution to the AGM agenda please do so as soon as possible, but no less than 7 days prior to the meeting. They can be sent by email to [email protected] or by post to SSCES, Agan Chy, West Hill, Wincanton, Somerset, BA9 9BY

Peter Chapman will be standing for election to the Board at this AGM. Peter lives near Westfield Academy in Yeovil and has been doing the meter readings there for us for some while, along with the occasional trouble shooting. If any Member would like to volunteer to be on our Board or to act as advisers, we would be pleased to hear from you. We are particularly looking for Members with skills in Health and Safety but also business, accounting and engineering.

We have unfortunately encountered some problems with Health and Safety policies of our contractors at two of our sites, they did not comply with the school’s own policy and the Site Manager stopped them working so no roof access to our arrays has been possible since at one site. We are currently arranging a meeting with Westfield Headteacher, Site Manager and Business Managers to improve communication following on from a similar meeting with staff at Holyrood. In that meeting John Clark asked to have contact with a member of staff who runs the school ‘Eco group’ to help improve communication and to inform them of how much we save the school.

During the year we have had one faulty inverter replaced under warranty at Westfield Upper School during the year. We will have to replace two smashed panels at Holyrood. During the summer holiday 2021 I got our panels cleaned and the roof drains cleared at Holyrood. I am pleased to say that we have not had any serious problems at Stanchester Academy which I understand has slightly exceeded predicted output. Likewise, there has been no serious problem at Abbey Manor Community Centre. We are in the process of obtaining proposals for a scheme with South Somerset Partnership Schools in Yeovil for p.v. and electric vehicle charge points. Chris has also been investigating a possible scheme with Yeovil Community Church.

I would like to thank the team who have done their bit this year, to welcome Alison and Zoe to the team and I look forward to Peter Chapman joining us and helping spread the workload.

John Christmas

See the full Chairman's Report in the Downloads section.

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