Welcome to the Low Carbon Hub

As an investor shareholder, you are a member and co-owner of The Low Carbon Hub IPS Limited. This means that you have joined a community of investors who want their money to do social good whilst receiving a financial return.

To find out more about the structure of the Low Carbon Hub, it’s mission and vision, visit our Governance pages and the understanding our organisation page.

Our Share Classes

The Low Carbon Hub IPS Limited has two share classes: 'A' and 'B'. They are shown in the table opposite. These FAQs refer to 'A' Class shares. For queries about a 'B' class share, please contact us on members@lowcarbonhub.org

For full details of your investment, please refer to the 'Rules of The Low Carbon Hub IPS' and the Share Offer Document related to your particular share class available for download below.

2014 Share Offer Document
2014 Share Offer Document
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2016 Share Offer Document
2016 Share Offer Document
Download now
Community Energy Fund 2018
Community Energy Fund 2018
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WELCOMING ONCORE

From June 2018 there was a transfer of engagement from ONCORE to the Low Carbon Hub. Read the letter sent to all ONCORE shareholders welcoming them to the Low Carbon Hub:

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Share administration 

From 29 March 2018 the register service for our community shares moved in-house from the Registry Trust.

For our investors, this means you now get in touch with us directly at the Low Carbon Hub for your investment queries. 

We have created a new email address specifically for investor queries: members@lowcarbonhub.org, so please do get in touch. You can also call us on 01865 246099. 

Please do get in touch with us for: 

FAQs

Thanks to the support of our investor members, the Low Carbon Hub has built renewable energy projects for schools and businesses across Oxfordshire. These projects are producing electricity that is cleaner, greener and cheaper for the hosts too.  The profits generated are re-invested in local carbon-cutting initiatives, lowering carbon emissions further. 

Investing in the Low Carbon Hub should be seen as more of a social than a financial investment. Our investors want their money to do a social good and investing with us is different from investments made solely for financial return.

We hope these FAQs below will provide useful information about investing in the Low Carbon Hub. As always, if your question isn’t answered here, please do get in touch with us by emailing members@lowcarbonhub.org

What rights do I have as a member?

How does one member, one vote work?

How do I know which share portfolio I have invested in?

What's the difference between 'A' and 'B' class shares?

What if I lose my share certificate?

Some of my personal details have changed - what do I do?

How much can I invest in the Low Carbon Hub?

How do I invest?

Can I sell or transfer my shares?

Can I withdraw my shares?

Can children own shares?

What happens to my shares if I die?

How is my data held?

How will the Hub communicate with me?

How do I find out how my investment is doing?

Will the society pay interest on shares?

When will I receive a return on my investment?

Is my investment safe?

Will the value of my shares increase?

Why do I get an interest payment and not a dividend?

Does my investment qualify for tax relief?

I have more questions. 

WHAT RIGHTS DO I HAVE AS A MEMBER? 

Investor shareholders become Members of The Low Carbon Hub IPS Limited and will have a say in the running of the organisation. As a member, you are entitled to: 

  • A vote: all Members are entitled to one vote in the Annual General Meeting
  • The right to attend general meetings, at which Board members are elected
  • The right to stand for election to the Board.


How does one member one vote work? 

In line with co-operative principles, we operate on the principle of ‘one member, one vote’, so all member shareholders have equal say regardless of the size of their investment. 

Our members vote in the Board of Directors and take part in our Annual General Meeting. 


How do I know which share portfolio I have invested in?

Refer to the share certificate that was issued to you on purchase of your shares and the accompanying documentation for further information on your share portfolio. Or contact us at members@lowcarbonhub.org and we can confirm your shareholdings. 

What's the relationship between 'A' and 'B' class shares?

The Low Carbon Hub IPS has a number of existing Members, the vast majority of which hold withdrawable 'A' Class shares. There are also ten pioneer investors who between them hold £150,000 of 'B' Class 'transferable' shares. Their investment qualified for SEIS, entitling them to tax relief of 50%. Their investment was offered with a target rate of return of 3%. This has now been aligned to the terms set out in 2014 Share Offer, and so payments to these investors are made on the same basis as Solar 2014 investors. 

If you are a 'B' class shareholder and have questions about your investment, please do get in touch with us at members@lowcarbonhub.org

 

What if I lose my share certificate? 

If you lose your share certificate, contact us at members@lowcarbonhub.org and request a replacement. There may be a charge for a reissue.


Some of my personal details have changed – what do I do? 

If you have any changes to your personal details, including change of name, address, or email, then contact us at members@lowcarbonhub.org informing us of the change. Or call us on 01865 246099. If you change your bank details, please fill in this Payment Instruction Form and return it to us. 


How much can I invest in the Low Carbon Hub?

The minimum investment is £250 and the maximum investment is £100,000. If you would like to invest more than this, please get in touch with us directly. 


HOW DO I INVEST?

Whenever we open a share offer we will announce it on our website with a detailed Share Offer Document. Check this page for announcements about future share offers.


Can I sell or transfer my shares?

No, a member cannot sell or transfer any of their Class ‘A’ Shares to any other person, including family members. The only exception to this is if the shares were originally bought on behalf of a child. In this case, you can transfer the shares to the child when they turn 16 [see question below]. 


Can I withdraw my shares? 

'A' class shares are 'withdrawable' shares that cannot be sold, traded or transferred between Members, unlike the 'transferable' shares typical of a limited company, and only the Low Carbon Hub IPS can buy them back. 

Although they are technically 'withdrawable', we encourage our investors to view their investment as a long-term commitment to the project. The financial models of our projects plan to return your capital over the lifetime of the project, it is anticipated that the bulk of the capital will be available for withdrawal towards the end of the project. This means it is unlikely that we can fulfil withdrawal requests early on in the lifetime of the project.  

Whilst you retain the right to request to withdraw your shares, please note that withdrawal isn’t guaranteed and in the early years is unlikely to be able to be met. Ultimately, all requests are approved at the discretion of the Board of Directors. 

If you would like to request to withdraw your shares, please contact members@lowcarbonhub.org

Please refer to the The Low Carbon Hub IPS Limited Rules for more information on withdrawing shares. 


Can children own shares? 

No, our investors must be 16 years old, or older. However, a member can hold shares on behalf of somebody who is under 16. To do this they must fill out a form to say they are holding shares on behalf of children when buying the shares. This must be done at the time of purchase of the shares. Once that person turns 16, they may become a member and the shares can pass on to them. 


What happens to my shares if I die? 

You can complete a nomination of shares form, to nominate a recipient for the value of the shares in the event of your death. This is the simplest way to ensure your shares will be transferred in line with your wishes.

If a member dies and a form hasn’t been completed, the executor of their estate will need to contact the Low Carbon Hub to arrange the transfer of the shares to a nominated person as agreed by the executor. 

We always suggest that investors seek external advice on their estate planning. If you’d like more information, please contact us on members@lowcarbonhub.org


How is my data held?

Bank account information is only by the Low Carbon Hub. We also hold other information including name, address, and email address. 

We will use this to communicate important information about your investment, keep you up-to-date on the performance of your investment and invite you to AGMs. You can also subscribe to the Low Carbon Hub newsletter which will keep you up-to-date on the work of the Low Carbon Hub including new share offer opportunities, project development, community benefit and more. Subscribe here. You can opt out of this email at any time. 

We will not sell, rent, or lend your data to other organisations. We are currently working to update our data protection policies in line with new GDPR legislation being introduced in May 2018. 


HOW WILL THE HUB COMMUNICATE WITH ME?

We are committed to keeping in regular communication with our investors. On becoming an investor, we will add you to our investor mailing list which we use to send you important information about your membership in the Hub, invitations to the AGM, plus any updates or news related to your investment. 

You can also sign up to receive the Low Carbon Hub newsletter, a regular email that keeps our members informed on the whole Low Carbon Hub project, including community benefit projects, new share offers, project builds and much more.

You will also receive from us: 

  • An invitation to the AGM 
  • An Investment Portfolio Performance Summary (annual) 


How do I find out how my investment is doing?

We will send you an annual investment portfolio document with a performance review. You can see these and more information here


Will the society pay interest on shares?

We intend to pay our investor shareholders interest on their shares, however, this is not guaranteed.

We are permitted to pay interest on shares, but according to FCA regulation we cannot offer a generous interest rate and may pay no interest at all. Financial performance is based on assumptions which are subject to variation and cannot be guaranteed. The timing of interest payments and rate of interest will be determined by the Board of Directors.

Find out more about portfolio performance here.


When will I receive a return on my investment?

To find out more about what return you can expect and the timings for potential returns, visit the portfolio performance page.


Is my investment safe?

There is no guarantee of receiving a return on your investment. Investors may receive back less than their original investment, and may not get back their original investment at all. You can read more about the risks of investing in the particular Share Offer Document related to your share class (available above). 

Whilst there are of course risks associated with investing, the Low Carbon Hub has a track record of managing large-scale investment opportunities successfully.

Will the value of my shares increase?

No, unlike company shares cooperative and community benefit society shares cannot go up in value, but they can go down, meaning that you could lose some of all of the money you invest. 

Why do I get an interest payment and not a dividend?

Due to our structure as a Registered Society, our shareholders can receive interest payments on their investment (rather than dividends), and these are limited under legislation to what is necessary to attract and retain the investment. 

Does my investment qualify for tax relief? 

Enterprise Investment Scheme Tax Relief

  • If you were one of our pioneer investors in 2013, then you were eligible for Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme relief. 
  • If you invested in our Solar 2014 share class, then you were eligible for Enterprise Investment Scheme relief.

However, these reliefs were not available to 2016 investors as government ceased providing relief to the subsidised generation of renewable energy by community organisations. 

Further information can be found here


Personal Saving Allowance

The interest you receive from your investment may qualify for tax relief under the Personal Savings Allowance. See the Treasury factsheet for further information.   

For information regarding claiming tax relief, we suggest you contact HMRC directly. 


What if I have more questions or a complaint? 

If you have a question not covered here or need to make a complaint, please contact members@lowcarbonhub.org


Other places to look for information:

  • The Rules of the IPS has detailed information on investing with The Low Carbon Hub IPS Limited
  • The Share Offer Document associated with your particular share class (see above)
  • Get in touch with us directly for any remaining queries and we’ll be happy to help.