Some people, including political leaders, believe that environmental levies add cost to our annual energy bills, subsidising the construction of expensive wind and solar farms, making energy unaffordable for millions of people.  Sadly, these people are being mislead,  influenced by the large energy suppliers, like British Gas who recently blamed environmental taxes for their most recent price hikes.

The misinformation spoon fed to politicians by those whose interests lie in the preservation of a fossil fuel based energy industry is consumed blindly by our politicians who are overwhelmed by the amount of data that they must process to keep up to date.  The energy industry seems to be an area in which most politicians are especially uninformed, or worse, deceived.  Consumers are just concerned about rising energy prices, accepting the information given to them by energy suppliers trying to keep their customers.

The truth is that fossil fuel energy is subsidised at a much higher rate, more than two thirds higher, than renewable energy.  These subsidies are funded directly by the taxpayer, through tax credits to the shale gas exploration companies or tax breaks on investment of oil drilling and refining equipment.  Since tax breaks are not transported directly to our energy bills, they are less obvious to consumers.  Other subsidies funded by the taxpayer are embedded in departmental budgets, like the billions per year spent to maintain our nuclear power infrastructure is embedded in the budget of the department of Business and Industrial Strategy.  Direct funding of activities by the taxpayer allows for the activities to take place outside of public scrutiny.

Tax breaks for fossil fuels are funded by the taxpayer, investments in the renewable energy infrastructure that we need to ensure affordable and long lasting sources of energy for the future are funded by the bill payer.  There are many arguments that can be supported economically, that investments in renewable energy like wind and solar, pay back over the life of the energy generation because we don’t have to pay for the cost of the fuel, it is free.  The cost of the fuel incorporates the exploration cost, drilling cost transport cost of these fossilised relics we use for “cheap energy”. If the taxpayer funded our renewable energy infrastructure, by diverting less tax breaks to the fossil fuel industry and funding clean energy, our energy bills would also decline, there would be no need for ‘eco taxes’.

The truth is that for years onshore wind has been the cheapest form of energy, yet development of onshore wind generation has been discouraged by this government.  In June, 24% of the electricity in the UK was produced by solar panels.  800,000 homes have solar panels on their roofs and 200,000 have solar thermal hot water. Just recently, the price of electricity from offshore wind was trading at half the price of electricity from new nuclear power on the capacity market.  It is time to stop the distorted, misinformed news on renewable energy and to hold our politicians accountable for supporting the construction of more renewable energy in our communities.

We can work together to ensure that we have affordable heat and electricity into the future and stop listening to the propoganda on Eco Tax, or that the lights will go out without expensive new nuclear.  Battery storage is creating the reliability we need into renewable energy, eliminating the need for base load power.

Now is the time to support your local community energy group, to get behind the movement for local energy and stop accepting the highly selective news intended to manipulate public opinion coming from the media as our truth. We can create a cleaner, safer world for our children if that is what we choose to do.

Time to Act poster frontOn 19 November, at Wagner Hall in Brighton, BHESCo is hosting an event that is promising to be an inspiring evening of talks from environmental activists working to combat climate change on a local level.

Book your tickets now to attend this free event

Howard Johns, author of Energy Revolution will lead the discussion about the clean energy alternatives that can be developed through a community energy business model.

Rob Hopkins, founder of the Transition movement says about Energy Revolution: “Re-imagining our energy system offers the potential of a win-win-win future: low carbon energy, more resilient communities, vibrant local economies. What’s more, it’s possible and it’s already happening.  Howard Johns, founder of Southern Solar and OVESCo, paints a spellbinding picture of the revolution happening around us, and the part you could play in it.”

Telling stories of the change that’s already happening from around the world and drawing on two decades of his own unique experience, Howard Johns demonstrates how we can develop our own renewable energy projects to provide local energy and create a new fleet of businesses. He shows us how communities can build local energy solutions (renewable power stations that will be a new form of building society) where we come together to develop, finance and construct the infrastructure that we and future generations so desperately need. These new systems will create new jobs and businesses, reduce energy imports and create new local investment models.

7:00pm Doors open

7:05 Welcome and introduction – Kayla Ente

7:10 Short clip of Vicki Lesley’s film on Nuclear Power and Q&A

7:30 Howard Johns talks about community energy and its potential to transform the industry

8:00pm Will Cottrell, Chairman, Brighton Energy Co-operative

8:15pm Chris Tomlinson,  Project manager Rampion Wind farm

8:30pm Anthony Probert, Bioregional – One Plant Living

8:45pm Kayla Ente, Founder, BHESCo

9:00 Q&A

 

share launch front pageBHESCo is hosting an event to give you more information about our Co-operative, what we have accomplished so far, the renewable energy and energy efficiency projects we are investing in, our innovative business model and most importantly – how you can participate.

Be the Change You Want to See in This World

4 June 2015, 6pm – 9pm

Brighthelm Centre, North Road, BN1 1YD

Special guest speaker – Howard Johns, Founder of Southern Solar and OVESCo

BHESCo is an ethical, not for profit social enterprise aiming to become a community owned energy supplier. Our business model helps to lower energy prices sustainably.  Pop in to our event, meet the Board of Directors of the Co-operative, learn more about how you can earn up to 10 times what you are currently earning on your savings by investing in a Co-operative that will pave the way for energy groups across the country.

THIS IS A FREE EVENT

Please sign up for the event on eventbrite as we need to order refreshments.

Virtuous CircleBrighton and Hove Energy Saving Co-operative (BHESCO) launched its bid to raise £1M to fund up to 10 community renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Sussex.

When people put money into the co-operative, they become members and buy shares. For a minimum investment of £250, each investor receives a 5-7% year on year return.  BHESCo has advanced assurance for the Enterprise Investment scheme giving 30% relief on the amount invested.

People who invest £500 will be able to claim £150 of that straight back in their next tax return. If the interest rate continues into subsequent tax years, investors will have doubled their money in 11 years. Moreover they will become part of a movement that helps reduce reliance on fossil fuels and contributes to a more sustainable future.

The offer was formally launched via Ethex, the UK’s award winning positive investment website. The minimum investment is £250 and the maximum is £100,000. To apply visit www.ethex.org.uk.

BHESCO’s share offer feeds into an innovative business model that forms a blueprint for energy groups across the country. By establishing a portfolio of services, including partnerships with energy suppliers, energy assessments and energy consultancy, the co-operative has successfully created a number of robust revenue streams. The model can be adopted in other towns and cities to ensure endurance of local energy groups.

The event has received coverage from local newspaper, The Argus and The Brighton & Hove Independent. The first installations include a biomass boiler for an independent school in Hove and a total retrofit of energy saving technology, including a solar array, for a social enterprise that manages affordable office spaces. BHESCO is also working with Brighton & Hove City Council to install solar on schools.

As well as benefitting from the government’s Feed-In-Tariff and renewable heat incentive – which guarantees a fixed price for community generated renewable energy for 20 years, the projects will also make significant savings on energy bills.

These factors combined give investors a 5% annual return on their investment, while enabling BHESCO to reinvest any profits in more community owned energy projects.

Kayla Ente, Founder and CEO said: “We’re used to thinking that doing good and making money are often opposed, especially when it comes to energy, but that doesn’t apply here.  This is a win-win-win – Sussex gets more renewable energy while properties are made more efficient, cutting our carbon footprint and energy bills. Businesses and organisations we work with get cheaper energy, and the people who’s money makes it happen receive an interest rate that’s 10 times better than what they’re getting on their bank savings.”

Notes for Editors:

BHESCO (www.bhesco.co.uk) is a co-operative society registered with the Financial Conduct Authority registered number 32097R.

The offer is not affected by the FSMA 2002 regulations on public offerings on shares. For more information on community shares, see www.communityshares.org.uk

Community energy is a fast-growing sector of the activity, aided by the payment of the Government’s Feed-in-tariff and renewable heat incentive that guarantees a fixed price for 20 years, enabling BHESCO to reward its members with strong financial returns.

 

Hove Civic flyer A5 V2 Of the many challenges that the city faces in the years to come, affordable housing and energy costs in particular heating, rank high.  This years, Hove Civic Society forum explores some potential solutions.   The three parliamentary candidates for Hove, Graham Cox, Chris Hawtree and Peter Kyle will put forward some of their solutions and engage in a debate with Andrew Winter, CEO of the Brighton Housing Trust and Kayla Ente, CEO of BHESCo who will present their views about the need for affordable housing and heat as well as outlining some possibilities from experiences drawn from other cities. Questions will also be taken during the meeting.

7:30pm at the Courtlands Hotel, the Drive in Hove BN3 3JE

Free for Hove Society members, visitors pay £3 at the door


1 2 3 4 10
Search