Ecotricity EcoBonds smash expectations

Wind energy provider Ecotricity has declared its ethical bond scheme the most successful of its kind ever issued in the UK, after applications reached nearly £15m, almost 50 per cent over target.

Ecotricity today confirmed that more than 1,800 people had applied for almost £15m worth of its private EcoBonds by the offer deadline of 10 December, meaning it exceeded its £10m fund raising target.

The company said the funds would allow it to progress with the construction of the UK’s first solar farm in the next few weeks.

Ecotricity said the previous largest private bond issuance was £3.6m, by Hotel Chocolat earlier this year.

Because of the scheme’s popularity, Ecotricity is already considering another bond issuance in 2011 for those who missed out or wanted to invest again.

Applications for this round ranged from £500 to £500,000 but Ecotricity insisted it would reward all applicants, giving priority to customers.

Every applicant will recieve a minimum £500 and then Ecotricity customers will receive about 80 per cent of the sum they applied for above £500, while other applicants will receive about half of any sum applied for above £500.

As a result, about £7.2m of the £10m raised will come from Ecotricity customers, with the remaining £2.8m coming from other applicants.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said the trailblazing issuance had proved an excellent way of accelerating low-carbon projects.

“Oversubscribing is both good and bad of course; it’s great to have such enthusiasm for our EcoBonds concept, but then again it means we have to disappoint someone (which we never like to do) – and we have to give back nearly £5m,” he said.

“With this massive oversubscription, we’ve clearly found considerable support for this radical new approach. And in the process we appear to have created a new way to speed up the rate of green energy building in the UK. This has the potential to really enhance our work.”

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