The purpose of the Empower Community Foundation is to help provide a governance framework for the Empower Community funding mechanism and also to oversee, as trustee, local community funds that receive a share of profits from renewable energy projects and energy efficiency programmes invested by Empower Community through, initially Empower Community Solar LLP.
It is designed to create a virtuous cycle of resource allocation for social and environmental benefit that encourages large-scale community participation, ownership and responsibility.
Perhaps the most effective means of motivating and mobilising communities is to provide access to the right knowledge, money, resources and the means to design, deliver and operate projects and programmes.
The principal roles of the Empower Community Foundation are to protect the social mission of Empower Community – to accelerate the transition to sustainable, low carbon, local economies – and to ensure the realisation of its aims and objectives by promoting the most effective application of resources and sharing of knowledge and principles.
Legal Structure and Governance
The Empower Community Foundation will retain a 50% right to profits in EC Management LLP, which provides general management services to the Empower Community Solar, including management of third party service providers, originating projects and sourcing institutional and other investment funding. Empower Community’s purpose and values will be embodied in the constitution of Empower Community Foundation, a company limited by guarantee to be registered as a charitable foundation. The balanced interests of all investors and participating communities, wider society and the environment will be embedded and upheld within its constitution.
Role of the Empower Community Foundation
The principal roles of Empower Community Foundation can be divided into three main areas:
- To oversee balanced stakeholder governance process applied to Empower Community Management’s operation of the Empower Community funding mechanism.
- To administer and oversee the financial management and allocation of profit share from projects in favour of communities where the projects are undertaken, via the Local Community Funds.
- To further the research into community transition towards sustainable, low carbon economies, exploring how financial markets can assist in the process while making a good return without compromising the primary objective.
Empower Community Foundation Board
The governing board will provide strategic oversight to Empower Community Management LLP (ECM), the Empower Community manager, and comprise a number of high calibre individuals representing public, private, academic and civil society sectors.