The community energy sector has been in talks with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over a recent spate of refusals for new applications.

The Guardian reported that the FCA has turned down “several new energy co-op applications” in recent weeks. Speaking to Solar Power Portal, Philip Wolfe of Community Energy England (CEE) confirmed that the group was aware of the refusals and are “concerned about the issue”.

Wolfe said that he was part of a meeting last month at the FCA which gave officials “a fuller briefing on how community energy enterprises operate”. Since the meeting the FCA has not responded to any community applications submitted, a fact that Wolfe hopes means that the authority has heeded the sector’s call.   

Commenting on the suitability of energy projects for cooperatives, Wolfe said: “Clearly it would be inappropriate for energy enterprises to be excluded from registration as co-operatives, just because the regulatory regime for energy differs from the retail sector. Should the FCA not accept the points we have made, we will continue to work with partners to ensure that community energy is not discriminated against.”