What is Community Power?

  • Community Power refers to the direct participation in, ownership of, and sharing of collective benefits from renewable energy projects, by and for a local community
  • Projects may be owned in-part or in-full by co-operatives, First Nations, Métis communities, charities and non-profits, other community groups and/or municipal entities, including schools, health centres, etc.
  • It’s a democratic ownership process where local groups are investing in their own communities and using the returns to support their local economy: a win-win-win for the community, individual investors and the province

Benefits of Community Power

Community-owned renewable energy projects not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they can also lead to community empowerment, with the potential for innovation in community development, social finance, wealth creation, energy security and energy system co-benefits. Community Power projects provide twice as many local jobs compared to corporately-owned projects.



Every $1 we spend on community power projects results in over $2 in economic activity



Community-owned renewable energy projects generate twice as many jobs



Community-based projects increase grid resiliency and reliability, reducing the need for costly transmission



Community participation increases public support for renewable energy – 78% of Ontarians support Community Power

For more information on the benefits of Community Power, read our recent report, The Power of Community

What is a Community Power Co-operative? 

Community Power Co-ops are energy corporations, democratically owned and controlled by members for their mutual benefit.


A co-operative corporation (co-op) can be incorporated either as a non-profit or for profit organization. Given the complexity and high upfront costs of renewable energy generation facilities, co-ops are an ideal model for individuals and groups to jointly develop, own, benefit from, and control them in their communities. The co-op ownership structure allows member-investors to reap the financial and social rewards of renewable energy generation projects, while addressing an environmental need for clean energy. 


Co-operatives, which can be for-profit or not-for-profit enterprises, embody seven key principles:

  • Voluntary and Open Membership
  • Democratic Member Control
  • Member Economic Participation
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Cooperation among Co-operatives
  • Concern for Community

For-profit co-ops raise funds for renewable energy projects through the issuance of community offerings in the form of shares.


Not-for-profit co-ops raise money principally through the sale of bonds.


Resources:

International Co‑operative Alliance

Canadian Co‑operative Association

Ontario Co‑operative Association


Membership, Media & General Inquiries: 

Phone: 416-583-2661

Email: info@fcpcoops.ca

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