Welcome to Oldham Community Power’s newsletter!

Issue 02

Welcome to the second instalment of our newsletter!

In this edition, find out about how our share offer is progressing, an update on our AGM, a list of the local events we will be attending in the next few months, and information about some research we have undertaken with a grant from the Greater Manchester Community Energy Innovation Competition.

Share Offer Update

Our share offer is now well and truly underway, with directors booked to attend several events across Oldham in the coming weeks and months. After attending just three events so far, we have added over 20 names to our mailing list and have gained 13 new investments, raising the total membership to 51. We have raised over £21k, with discussions ongoing with some charity and community organisations also interested in investing.

We’ve made a solid start to the share offer, but we need your help to let everyone know about the opportunity so that our solar panels can be truly community owned!

AGM and deadline for participation

We are holding our AGM on Thursday 13 July at 7pm . This will be an excellent chance for members of Oldham Community Power to meet directors, find out about what’s happened and what is in the pipeline, have your say on the direction of the society, and even find out about how you can volunteer to become more involved with us!

In order to be able to vote at the AGM, you must submit your application form by Friday 30 June – but even if you have not submitted an application form and become a member, please come along the AGM to find our more about the society. Non-members are welcome but just not able to vote…so make sure you don’t miss out by becoming a member soon!


We will be busy attending community events over the summer in Oldham and beyond, giving local people the chance to meet directors and find out about the work we are doing. We are currently booked in to attend the events below, but we are on the lookout for more local fairs and community days to go to – please let us know of anything happening near where you are by emailing us at info@oldhamcommunitypower.org.uk

Your Oldham Market Street

Wednesday 28th June

10am – 5pm

Curzon Street, Oldham OL1 3AG

Oldham Community Power and Saddleworth Hydro joint open day

Saturday 1st July

Dove Stone Reservoir, Greenfield, Oldham OL3 7NE

Marvellous Mossley Community Get Together

Saturday 8th July

10.30am – 2.30pm

George Lawton Hall, Stamford St, Mossley, Ashton-under-Lyne OL5 0HR

National Play Day at Chadderton Hall Park

Wednesday 2nd August

1pm – 3pm

Chadderton Hall Rd, Chadderton, Oldham OL9 0QB

HealthFest 2017

Sunday 13th August

11am – 3pm

Alexandra Park, Kings Rd, Oldham OL8 2BN

Innovation Fund Grant

In our first share offer we raised less than our target, which led us to think about why this was. Possible causes of this were thought to be that Oldhamers may not be familiar with share ownership, and may not have large financial savings.

To investigate barriers to engagement with Oldham Community Power, we successfully applied to the Greater Manchester Community Energy Innovation Competition 2016 to support research into how to reach out to those with no history of investment. We were awarded £5,400 and were appointed Quantum Strategy and Technology as a partner to support us in this research.

Focus groups

Research was carried out using several focus groups and a questionnaire. Focus groups included participants from community group leaders, district coordinators, and members of the public, while the questionnaire was handed out to members of the public.

A sample of responses received from the questionnaire and focus groups are recorded below:

What would encourage you to join Oldham Community Power?

“I want to join a scheme run to benefit the community, not run for profit!”

“I want to belong to a society that is fully inclusive!”

“I would be encouraging to see panels on buildings local to me!”

“To have a say in how the schemes are progressed”

“It’s a long term ethical investment!”

“Doing your bit for the environment!”

“It is run by the local community and the council are involved.”

What are the barriers to you joining Oldham Community Power?

“It is a discouragement, not able to get money back for 20 years!”

“Risks, uncertainty of returns.”

Opinions on payment by Instalments

“Paying in instalments gives opportunity to everyone and gives community feel!”

“This would help people on low incomes who still want to support their local community project to invest.”

“Would maybe benefit others.”

Opinions on paying interest to shareholders

“I don’t understand all this about interest!”

“Make the meaning of IRR clearer!”

“Given the state of banks 4% seems fair.”

“Interest would not be the only reason to invest.”

Opinions on sharing income with other community schemes

“Some may have philanthropic as well as economic reasons to invest.”

“This seems appropriate, so my money helps develop the community through more projects.”

Ideas for increasing engagement with Oldham Community Power

“Why not put member’s names on panels?”

“Members to get discounted with Oldham Community Leisure OCL reduced rates?”

“To help people save, interest to be credited to account at credit union?”

“Schools, through children, encourage parents to become members?”

“Councils to encourage tenants to become members?”

“Let businesses advertise they are a member of OCP?”

“Give back to communities, especially linked to fuel poverty?”


The feedback received from the research has let us make some major improvements to the second share offer currently live:

• The wording has been strengthened to illustrate the wider benefits of the scheme, and we have emphasised the benefits of membership of the scheme rather than just the interest that can be earned by members.

• Payment by instalments is now offered as an option.

• Talks and visits are being planned and attended, now structured around informal discussions and ‘meet the directors’ rather than PowerPoint presentations.

Many thanks to the Greater Manchester Community Energy Innovation Competition and Quantum Strategy and Technology for their invaluable support.

Energy generation

Our installations have been generating energy for some time now, and as of 18 June 2017 we have generated a total of almost 95 MWh! This has saved over 39 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere, the equivalent of taking just over 20 cars off the road for a year*!


*Figure based on average vehicle CO2 emissions of 153.0 g/km (RAC) and average car mileage of 7,900 miles (RAC).

We need your help!

Oldham Community Power is a community benefit society run by volunteers from the community who give their time to make community-owned renewable energy a reality in Oldham.

As we expand our activities, we are looking for people who are interested in giving some time to support us, and are particularly looking for people skilled in:

• Running events

• Publicity, like writing press releases, or editing this newsletter

• Environmental education

• Energy saving

If this sounds like you, why not write us a brief email saying who you are and what skills you can offer and send it to info@oldhamcommunitypower.org.uk?

Newsletter 2 out now!