Shares in Livewire Community Energy (LWCE) can attract substantial tax benefits for UK taxpayers through Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) SEED Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), together with an annual return on investment similar to a savings account. For more information Contact us.

Will the value of my shares change?

The value of each share will remain unchanged at £1 and, unlike the "ordinary shares" typical of a limited company, they cannot be sold, traded or transferred between Members or the wider public. They can only be sold back to LWCE. You must understand that shares in LWCE will never increase in value. On the other hand, their value could be reduced to zero if the enterprise fails.

While investors can expect a reasonable return on their investment, investing in Livewire Community Energy should be seen as more of a social investment, than a financial one, although there are specific tax advantages to investing in LWCE.

How does the stated plan to buy back shares affect my investment?

The Directors have made provision for shares to be withdrawn from year 3 if an investor wishes to do so, and may also offer some investors the opportunity to sell back some of their shares to the Society. However, investors who wish to leave their investment in the Society for the medium and longer term and thereby benefit from the interest offered may be able to do, although we cannot guarantee this. See appendix 2 of the Share Offer Document.

What does ‘withdrawable shares’ mean in practice?

The Society allows shareholders to withdraw their share capital, but three months' notice is required and withdrawal is subject to the Society having the funding available to buy back the shares at the time.

Please note: you will need to hold your shares for 3 years to be eligible for the tax relief

How are shares allocated?

Shares will be allocated on a first come, first served basis at the discretion of the Directors. If the share offer is over-subscribed, the Directors will close the share offer early and advise unsuccessful applicants whose investment will be returned in full.

What happens to my shares if I die?

If a Member dies the repaid value of the shares will normally be added to the estate for probate purposes. We have an application form which offers the option for you to nominate a recipient for the value of the shares in the event of your death.

What interest can I expect on my investment?

Shareholders will receive an annual payment of interest on the value of their shares every 12 months from the date of commissioning i.e. when the solar schemes are working and generating electricity.

Please note: we are not paying interest for the first 12 months.

The level of interest is recommended by the Board of Directors and agreed with the Members of LWCE at their Annual General Meeting. It is anticipated that the interest rate will average 4% per annum.

Interest on the shares is paid gross so it is the investor's responsibility to declare these earnings to HMRC. In addition to the interest paid on share holdings investment in these shares may qualify for tax relief under the government's SEIS.

LWCE's primary objective is to benefit local communities so the rate of return is not directly linked to the profits LWCE generates.

What is the social investment tax relief (SITR)?

SITR was introduced in the Finance Act 2014 to incentivise social investment through the personal tax system. At present SITR excludes community energy from benefiting because of the Feed in Tariff. However, the government aims to change this to allow community energy and specific organisations such as LCE to be eligible under SITR.

SITR is in some ways similar to EIS in that investors may receive a one off 30% tax relief on their investment

Is the government replacing SEIS and EIS?

Yes. In the autumn budget 2014 the government proposed to replace SEIS with something called Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) from the 6th April 2015. SITR needs to change to allow Community Energy to be eligible and this requires European Union approval under something called State Aid.

In the March 2015 budget the Chancellor announced that there would be a 6 month transitional period for SEIS once the changes for SITR had received state aid approval.

For more information on the government's budget announcement click on the attached website link:

Please note: at the date of launching the share offer the government had not got European Union approval so you are still eligible for tax relief under SEIS

How do I obtain tax relief on my investment?

Once LWCE has been generating electricity for 4 months we will send you a form that you will need to complete and submit to the HMRC. The tax relief can be claimed usually against your self-assessment tax return of the tax year in which the shares were issued or an adjustment to any self-assessment payment on account due. You will have to make the claim on your tax return when you get it not Livewire Community Energy so we cannot give any guarantees about tax relief.

If you pay your income tax through Pay As You Earn (PAYE) you can request a change to your tax code. Again you will need to do this not Livewire Community Energy.

Information on HMRC's site explains the application procedures but, if you are unsure, please seek professional advice.

How long do I have to leave my investment in LWCE to qualify for tax relief?

The rules for SEIS and EIS tax relief require the investment to be held for at least 3 years from the start of trading (not the date of the investment).

What are the potential benefits for me as a taxpayer?

If you are a UK taxpayer, you may be able to reclaim a significant proportion of the sum you invest from HMRC, subject to HMRC rules on eligibility. The actual amount of tax relief you can claim will depend on your personal tax circumstances.

We have applied for "advance assurance" from HMRC that the shares in LCE are eligible for tax relief under the SEIS and EIS. These are government backed schemes designed to encourage investment in smaller enterprises.

Under the SEIS your investment may attract a one off tax relief at 50% of the sum you invested if your shares are within the first £150,000 of shares issued. After this your investment may be eligible under the EIS which may provide a one off tax relief of 30% of the sum you invested. So, provided you are a UK taxpayer, you should be able to recover up to this amount of your investment from HMRC in the year after LCE starts trading, i.e. when the Society starts generating electricity from the solar panels.

Please note: shares are issued on a first come first served basis