London’s clean air plans were given a boost today with the launch of a new tax-free ethical ISA that will support community solar energy projects around the capital.
What’s more – people can invest in the projects from as little as £50 through a bond – the Energy Garden Bond, which offers 4 per cent interest and is available on Ethex, the investment platform.
Energy Garden Ltd is the community benefit society set up to raise more than £10m to finance the projects, bringing together funding from institutional, sophisticated and retail investors.
The funding will be used to acquire and develop new renewable energy assets, bringing them into community ownership, helping to green London’s Overground network by developing and supporting community gardens in urban environments, improving air quality and biodiversity, delivering paid education and training programmes for young people. People who invest from £1,000 in the Energy Garden bonds will be able to hold their investment within an Innovative Finance ISA, enabling them to benefit from potential returns of 4 per cent a year, tax-free.
Agamemnon Otero, chief executive of Energy Garden and Repowering, said: “We are excited to work with Ethex to launch the Energy Garden Bond Innovative Finance ISA which will change the community sector forever. Supporters have been looking for investment opportunities to develop community-owned renewable energy and garden projects. This new innovation will help galvanise community involvement in supporting London’s ambition of becoming one of the most sustainable cities in the world.”
Lisa Ashford, chief executive of Ethex, said: “Ethex is really pleased to be able to provide socially motivated investors with an opportunity to invest in the Energy Garden Bond offer in a tax efficient way via Ethex’s first Innovative Finance ISA. This effectively means that investors will not just be helping to create a positive social and environmental impact from their investment but in addition they can also maximise their financial return by allocating some or all of their yearly £20,000 ISA tax allowance.”