Why Join (7)

What does BHESCo stand for & what is it?

Brighton and Hove Energy Services Cooperative (BHESCo) is a social enterprise, formed for the benefit of our members who are our customers. We offer energy services to the community of Brighton and Hove, using our technological expertise to serve the energy needs of the city and its residents.

These include providing advice and information on energy efficiency, energy savings, utilities contracts and energy generation from renewable sources such as solar, wind, CHP and biomass. These services help reduce fuel poverty and high fuel bills, and encourage sustainable, renewable energy generation on a community level.

Why is BHESCo needed?

There are only six major suppliers serving 90% of energy customers. This reduces competitiveness in the market and increases prices. BHESCo has been founded to highlight to the community of Brighton and Hove that there is an alternative to this, reducing over expenditure on fuel across the city and making homes in the city more energy efficient. The alternatives include switching supplier to gain a better rate, making your home more energy efficient and supporting community energy projects, decreasing your dependence on fossil fuels and the Big Six companies.

Unfortunately there are barriers to these alternatives, such as being afraid to switch supplier, but BHESCo can provide advice and help to overcome such barriers.

Who can be a BHESCo customer?

Anyone in the Brighton & Hove area can benefit from our services and advice, whether you’re a tenant, a homeowner, a small business, or a community centre. We  focus on helping those who are vulnerable in the community, in fuel poverty and struggling to pay their fuel bills. We love to hear from anyone with ideas, so if you would like to work with us please get in touch.

I don’t live in Brighton or Hove – can I join BHESCo?

Anyone is welcome to join BHESCo as a shareholder, and we have members from all around the UK who are passionate about supporting local, community energy.

With regards to our Energy Saving Service and project management customers, as we are creating a local model to benefit Brighton & Hove, we unfortunately cannot take customers from outside Sussex.

 

 

I’m currently with a green energy supplier – why should I join BHESCo?

That’s great – you’re already committed to reducing your impact on the environment by using a renewable energy source. There are a few reasons why you should think about joining BHESCo & benefitting from our services:

  • Some of the green energy deals aren’t all that green when you look into them.  It may be that a small part of their energy generation capacity is really green. Take a look at the percentage of generation from renewable sources and see if the energy you’re paying for really is green. If it’s not you could switch to Ecotricity.
  • You’ll save money.  Some of the green energy tariffs are getting quite expensive, and not everyone can afford to pay a premium.  By joining BHESCo, you can be green, invest in your community and reduce your energy costs.
  • We’re not just green, we’re local too.  All our profits are reinvested back into the city of Brighton and Hove – by joining BHESCo you can do your bit for your community too.

How can BHESCo charge only 5% interest?

BHESCo is a social enterprise, meaning we’re a business with a purpose beyond just making money for the shareholders.  BHESCo is a cooperative, which means as a customer, you can become a member of the company, giving you a say in our governance.  Our management consists of highly qualified professionals who would rather make a difference than a profit.

Social enterprise businesses do good things to make the world a better place. BHESCo’s social purpose is to reduce the cost of energy for the community of Brighton and Hove, increase the amount of green electricity generated in the city, and reduce our carbon emissions by making our customer’s properties more energy efficient.

The 5% interest we do charge is to repay our shareholders who have generously invested their money in BHESCo, so that we can develop renewable and energy efficiency systems at no upfront cost using our ‘Pay As You Save’ model.

 

I’m a big fan of Brighton Energy Co-op – aren’t you competing with them?

BHESCo’s business model is very different from Brighton Energy Co-operative (BEC). They focus on larger scale rooftop generation, whereas BHESCo develop many smaller projects for residents and businesses. BHESCo also have more of a focus on energy efficiency and energy switching advice.

Both BHESCo and BEC are co-members of the Community Energy South network, working together to make the community energy model work.

Energy Efficiency Renovations (5)

I’ve got an old house and my fuel bills are very high. I heard that BHESCo can upgrade my heating system and draught-proof my house?

That’s right.  We want you to be able to use less energy, and still be warm and cosy in your home. We will conduct an energy survey of your property and prepare a bespoke report highlighting all the ways that energy is being used and wasted. We can then help you to install energy saving measures to improve heat retention and reduce energy consumption.

If the upfront cost of these energy saving measures is a barrier, then BHESCo can help you to pay using our ‘Pay As You Save’ financial model.

 

How can I be sure you know what you’re doing?

BHESCo is making the investment in their customer’s properties.  These investments are owned by BHESCo until the customer pays them off, then the title transfers to the customer. BHESCo engages qualified and certified professionals to carry out all our work.  We verify all of the installations at our customer’s sites to ensure that work is carried out to an exceptional standard. The more the customer saves, the more we earn and the more we can reinvest back into the community. We rely on satisfied customers so that we can continue growing our business.

If the retrofit and renewable energy system costs are not attached to the property, what happens if I sell my property?

The energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems that we install add value to your property by improving your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating.  This improved rating translates to a higher selling price for your property.  When you sell the property, the pay as you save contract is paid off by applying the net present value of that contract – i.e., today’s value of the pay as you save contract calculated to the payback period.  This cash payment is valuable already, we don’t need to make excessive profits from the sensibility of our scheme.

If I rent my property, can I still get an energy assessment?

Yes, we can speak to your landlord on your behalf, providing the economic sensibility of the energy plan that we complete for your property.  We will agree with your landlord the details of the project to be carried out, ensuring that you can live in warmer conditions and pay lower energy bills. In addition, improving the thermal efficiency of the property will also imcrease the value of the property, which will benefit your landlord without them having to make any investment.

Renewable Energy Generation (3)

How can I be sure you know what you’re doing?

BHESCo is making the investment in their customer’s properties.  These investments are owned by BHESCo until the customer pays them off, then the title transfers to the customer. BHESCo engages qualified and certified professionals to carry out all our work.  We verify all of the installations at our customer’s sites to ensure that work is carried out to an exceptional standard. The more the customer saves, the more we earn and the more we can reinvest back into the community. We rely on satisfied customers so that we can continue growing our business.

If the retrofit and renewable energy system costs are not attached to the property, what happens if I sell my property?

The energy efficiency measures and renewable energy systems that we install add value to your property by improving your EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating.  This improved rating translates to a higher selling price for your property.  When you sell the property, the pay as you save contract is paid off by applying the net present value of that contract – i.e., today’s value of the pay as you save contract calculated to the payback period.  This cash payment is valuable already, we don’t need to make excessive profits from the sensibility of our scheme.

If I rent my property, can I still get an energy assessment?

Yes, we can speak to your landlord on your behalf, providing the economic sensibility of the energy plan that we complete for your property.  We will agree with your landlord the details of the project to be carried out, ensuring that you can live in warmer conditions and pay lower energy bills. In addition, improving the thermal efficiency of the property will also imcrease the value of the property, which will benefit your landlord without them having to make any investment.

Community Projects (2)

What is ‘Pay As You Save’?

  • We prepare an energy survey of your property, advising how you can reduce your fuel bills and how much it would cost to install the suggested energy saving measures, including renewable generation.
  • We prepare an approximate quote of how much your fuel bills will be reduced by installing the initiatives.
  • You decide what measures you would like installed, and we will project manage the installation for you.
  • After the new measures are installed, BHESCo will continue to monitor your energy bills to ensure the measures are performing and you are receiving the energy savings anticipated.
  • You pay us for the cost of the work over time, at a rate that is equal to or less than the savings that you are enjoying.
  • We charge you just 5% interest.
  • You get a warm house, use less energy, and pay less for the energy you do use.

The saving is made as we charge a cheaper price per kilowatt (kW) on the energy from the generation, if a renewable source is installed. The interest we charge is also reinvested in energy saving improvements and renewable energy micro-generation in the homes and businesses of our customers. This helps them save money now and into the future by creating a sustainable, long term solution.

Is BHESCo An Energy Supplier?

Currently BHESCo is not an energy supplier but we are aspiring to be one, and one that supplies renewable, clean energy from local projects. As we grow we will make this aspiration a reality.

The Cooperative Business Model (1)

What Are Co-operative Shares?

By purchasing shares, you become a member of our consumer co-operative that is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority. We uphold the co-operative principles, which means that each member gets one vote, regardless of the number of shares you own. This creates an equitable business where no one person or entity has more influence than another, based on their financial holdings.

Our members have a say in the governance of our energy savings co-operative. Shares are non-transferable, meaning that they cannot be sold to anyone else. Members can withdraw their investment (plus any interest due) at certain times during each year starting after the third year of your investment and in subsequent years. For more information about our Co-operative and our governance – download our rules here.