SunGift managing director Gabriel Wondrausch is passionate about making a difference to the way we generate and use our energy, which is why he’s recently joined a team of local people to establish ECOE.

The not-for-profit organisation has the aim of developing a community-owned source of renewable energy that benefits the city, the community and the environment.

An initial solar power project, financed by local people buying shares, will provide an income for projects addressing fuel poverty and climate change, as well as investment in further renewable energy projects. In the long term, ECOE want to create a local green energy market where the community will produce more and more of its own renewable energy and find innovative ways to consume less and less.

“This is a tremendously important initiative for me,” said Gabriel, “as I feel that renewable energy and energy efficiency will develop much more quickly if the community takes ownership of its energy future.  SunGift is delighted to be part of this initiative as our heart is firmly set in Exeter”

The type of activities ECOE will be carrying out include driving forward the agenda for a local green energy supply (which will improve Exeter’s energy security and resilience), raising awareness of the low-carbon solutions that Exeter residents can make the most of, and creating a community fund for local community projects.

Shares in the company (which is registered as an Industrial Provident Society for community benefit) are available to anyone to buy and each member has one vote irrespective of the number of shares held.

“I’d encourage as many people as possible to get involved,” added Gabriel, “as it’s a real opportunity to get involved in a scheme that will benefit individuals and communities for years to come.”

For more information and to get involved, visit www.ecoe.org.uk