Community Ownership

The concept of community ownership of energy infrastructure is well established in continental Europe and increasingly popular in UK and Ireland. Community ownership means that the assets (in this case the solar panels) are collectively owned and any profit generated will be re-invested for the benefit of the community. NICE will be similar to a distributed power station for Northern Ireland owned by the people and it will shift the way we own and produce energy. Our vision is for NICE to re-invest any surplus in energy efficiency and low carbon technologies in the local community The basic elements of the community ownership model are:

  • NICE will be a society governed by Rules and abiding by core co-operative principles (for example, they are one vote, one member democracies);
  • NICE is incorporated as a Community Benefit Society under the Industrial and Provident Society Act (Northern Ireland) 1969 – this is a type of co-operative owned by the community;
  • NICE members will be the roof providers and any individual from the public who will support the objectives and invest in the society.

What are community benefit societies?

Community Benefit societies are a particular type of co-operatives which benefit the community more than the members. Usually part of the surplus is placed in a community fund and re-invested into the community. Community Benefit Societies are registered with Department for Enterprise Trade and Investment Northern Ireland under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act (Northern Ireland) 1969.

Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) Limited is a Community Benefit Society registered with DETI. Registration number is IP000413. Registered address: Unit 40a, North City Business Centre, 2 Duncairn Gardens, Belfast BT15 2GG. Northern Ireland Community Energy (NICE) is member of Co-operatives UK ( and supported by Co-operative Alternatives in Northern Ireland