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Questions:

Answers:

  • How does the SES Solar Co-op work?
  • What is the business model?


  1. We facilitate community investment in solar by selling shares
    • Solar assets are collectively owned by co-op members
  2. We hire solar contractors to install the solar arrays
  3. We lease the solar arrays to commercial partners
    1. Install is at no cost to our partner
    2. 25-year agreements

Solar Co-op membership is great for:

  • condo and apartment dwellers
  • renters
  • if your home is shaded by trees or other buildings
  • if you plan to move soon
  • if you can’t afford a full solar array right now

Our projects achieve economies of scale over residential solar through collective investment.


  • How is the organization run?


Solar co-op members elect a volunteer board of directors on an annual basis for terms up to 3 years to oversee the operations of the co-op.

Each co-op membership is entitled to one vote at meetings, regardless of the number of preferred shares they own.


  • What is the return on investment for a Class B Share?
  • When will the solar co-op pay a dividend?


With the price of the shares fixed it is only possible for members to make a financial gain through a dividend being issued. A dividend has not yet been issued and we are not permitted to project how much or when that will be.

The Board of Directors has chosen to reinvest proceeds in further solar installations.

Over time, one Class B Share has grown from the equivalent of 250 watts to 460 watts of solar generation capacity.

We have yet to have retained earnings or a profit. Therefore we haven’t been able to issue a dividend. Once our income from lease payments exceeds our expenses the Board of Directors could issue a dividend. Our expenses include insurance and maintenance but our largest expense is depreciation of the solar asset (amortization on our financial statements), while energy prices and therefore our lease payments are expected to increase annually.

Once the Solar Co-op has established a general reserve of 1% of its total assets it is the co-op’s intention to begin to allocate profits earned from the production of electricity and resulting lease payments to Class B preferred shareholders by way of a patronage dividend. Patronage dividends will be declared at the discretion of the Solar Co-op’s Board of Directors. Up to this point, proceeds from operations have been invested in further solar installations.


  • Can I sell my shares at some point?
  • What will they be worth?


You may only sell your shares back to the SES Solar Co-op. We intend to accept requests when our finances allow. We are working to establish a reserve fund to expedite this process.

The share prices are fixed in our bylaws at $950 for Class B shares.

Note the difference:

  • When directly owning solar panels your investment depreciates over time until the asset no longer has value.
  • The SES Solar Co-op intends to maintain the Class B share price.


  • How do your RRSPs work?


You may choose to register your shares as a self directed RRSP held in trust by the Canadian Workers Co-operative Federation (CWCF).

There’s an annual fee associated so we recommend a minimum of 5 shares.

You may transfer funds from your existing self-directed RRSP. Or buy the shares directly.

If you choose this option we will follow up with the additional forms required.

  • We’d be happy to discuss over the phone. Our secretary and RRSP specialist Jeff Montgomery is available - 306 227 5732

Fees:

  • 3 years CWCF RRSP fee paid up-front - $165 - $55/year ongoing
  • One time SES Solar Co-op RRSP processing fee - $100
  • CWCF Transfer in from another self-directed RRSP fee - $50

Alternatively, the shares may be registered as a TFSA.


  • What are the greenhouse gas emission reductions associated with my investment?


SaskPower’s emission intensity is 0.65 kg of GHGs per kWh of electricity.

Current production of 200,000 kWh of solar energy offsets 130 tonnes of direct GHG emissions per year.

Per Class B share this is about 325 kg of GHGs per year.

We select panels with excellent environmental performance using the SVTC Solar Scorecard


  • What if I move out of province?


You may own shares as long as the shares are purchased while you are a resident of the province.


  • Will the share offering be affected by COVID-19?


We understand resources are tight for many and we intend our invitation to purchase shares to be meant for those with the capacity to do so.

Many of you know how long and rigorous a process it has been to be approved for this share offering, therefore the board of directors intends to proceed.


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