Social investment provider Pure Leapfrog has made its biggest single loan to a Bristol community energy project.
David Saunders, chair of Bristol Power Co-op, will receive a cheque for £100,000 from Robert Rabinowitz, the chief executive of Pure Leapfrog.
Bristol Power Co-op, which puts solar panels on Bristol roofs at no cost to the householder, has already helped install solar on 23 homes in Lockleaze to tackle climate change and fuel poverty.
The £100,000 loan will enable Bristol Power Co-op to put solar panels on a further 25 homes, this time in south Bristol.
Robert Rabinowitz, Pure Leapfrog’s chief executive officer, said: “Pure Leapfrog is pleased to be able to support the growth of Bristol Power Co-op into a self-sustaining social enterprise. We see this loan as a model for how our loans can help similar companies across the country to leverage their existing assets to achieve more environmental and social impact.”
Chair of Bristol Power Co-op, David Saunders, said: “The loan from Pure Leapfrog is a great step for Bristol Power Co-op and allows us to continue putting solar on Bristol roofs for free. It was awarded on the strength of Bristol Power Co-op having raised £145,000 in a community share issue which funded the Lockleaze installations. Alongside Bristol Solar City, community energy plays a vital part in Bristol becoming Europe’s greenest city in 2015. Community energy projects such as ours provide cheap energy to the people of greater Bristol.”
He added: “Solar panels not only generate free energy, they also generate government subsidies, called feed-in tariffs, which pay for the solar panels over time. The Pure Leapfrog loan is a bit like a mortgage but unlike a mortgage where you work to pay it off, the solar panels do the work.”