A COMMUNITY energy project is urging investors to back a project which will operate 12 wind turbines near Humbie and help tackle fuel poverty.

The new scheme offers people an opportunity to support Our Community Energy – a partnership between not-for-profit Scottish firm Our Power and Mongoose Energy, which manages community energy assets – and hopes to find investors in the county.

They say that the site at Pogbie Windfarm – already home to the turbines – will create enough energy to power 7,200 homes and believe that, when they combine it with a second site in Berwickshire, the scheme will raise an estimated £1.9 million in surplus profit over 25 years.

Our Power said that profit from the wind turbines it takes over would then be used to keep energy prices down, helping people who are struggling with the costs.

They need to raise just over £3 million for the project, which covers both sites, and community groups and individuals are being invited to invest in bonds and shares to raise the money needed to get the project up and running, with investments ranging from £500 to £100,000.

Andrew Smith, Our Community Energy acting chairperson, said: “Fuel poverty is a huge issue for Scotland and we’re proud to be launching such an important fundraising opportunity to directly tackle it.

“Investing with a social purpose is something close to the hearts of many Scots, and these bond and equity offers provide the chance to have a huge impact locally.

“These offers aim to support those who struggle to afford sufficiently heated homes, as well as providing investors with an exciting new option which not only targets a significant social impact but a positive environmental one too.

“However with these types of investments there are some risks and funds are not readily realisable.

“Investors should note that capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.”

A fuel poor household is defined as one which needs to spend more than 10 per cent of its income on all fuel use and to heat its home to an adequate standard of warmth.

Last year, the East Lothian Poverty Commission found that almost half of local pensioners were forced to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on energy bills.

Mark Kenber, CEO of Mongoose Energy, added: “With the majority of Scots recognising the critical level that fuel poverty has reached, it is now more important than ever for investors to put their money into causes that work for the social good, not just their own.

“Our Community Energy not only gives investors the potential to earn competitive interest rates on their money, but also the opportunity to support the wider Scottish community.”

Those interested in investing in the bond and share offers, or in finding out more about investing in community-owned, renewable energy, can do so at invest.mongoose crowd.co.uk/our-community-energy