BHESCo - Brighton & Hove's community energy co-op

Urban Spotlight on Community Energy fuel poverty community Author - Dan Curtis

BHESCO is an award winning, not-for-profit community energy co-op in Brighton, bringing people together to take control over their energy supply by building renewable energy systems, improving energy efficiency, reducing fuel bills and tackling fuel poverty.

BHESCo has 150 members, and to date has raised £450,000 from shareholders who receive a 5% return on their investment.

Thus far, £380,000 has already been channelled into community energy projects around Sussex, with the remainder going towards projects under development.

Since forming in 2013, BHESCo has completed 23 community energy projects which collectively reduce annual carbon emissions by 216 tonnes, and save customers £67,000 a year.

They have installed a variety of renewable energy technologies such as solar PV, biomass boilers, and heat pumps, and have innovative projects in development, like ground source heat pumps for care homes, and anaerobic digestion to produce biogas from food waste.

BHESCo’s customers include schools, community and leisure centres, homes, offices, and small businesses.

Since January 2016, BHESCo’s Energy Saving Service has visited 300 properties, installing such measures as roof and wall insulation, double glazing, draughtproofing and LED lighting.

They estimate that collectively these measures reduce carbon emissions by 37 tonnes and fuel bills by £33,925 a year.

Each winter, BHESCo offers free energy bill and supplier switching advice to vulnerable households in the city. In the last three years, BHESCo have helped 650 people to save £30,700 collectively on their energy bills.

Typically, they visit food banks, advice centres, community centres and household budgeting workshops.

BHESCO were identified as a ‘Local Energy Archetype’ in OFGEM’s Future Insights report of December 2016, and have received several awards for their work including the ‘Energy Saving Award’ from Community Energy England, and a ‘Heat Heroes Award’ from National Energy Action (NEA).

Act local, join your community energy co-op today!

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