A Treasury decision that renewable energy initiatives benefiting from the feed-in tariff would no longer qualify for the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), a tax relief for investors in small high-risk businesses, was greeted with dismay because it would have severely disadvantaged communities hoping to benefit from local renewable energy schemes.
However in July, following a campaign by Co-operatives UK, renewable energy organisations and community groups, the Treasury agreed to reverse the decision and exempt co-operative societies and community interest companies, allowing them to benefit from EIS.
In the latest issue of the Co-operative News, Ed Mayo, Secretary General of Co-operatives UK, said, “I’m delighted to see Government recognition of the value that co-operative and community-led renewable energy initiatives bring. At least 20 communities are planning a community share launch soon, whose business model is based on obtaining FITs and EIS.”
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