Community-Energy-South-LogoBrighton & Hove Energy Services (BHESCo) have joined REPOWER Balcombe and the 13 other members of  Com­munity Energy South to launch renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across Sussex.   The Peer-to-Peer community ment­or­ing fund was awarded to OVESCO in Lewes, to support the newest members of Community Energy South, groups from Rye to Chichester, with their efforts to develop clean, renewable energy projects in their communities.

BHESCo is introducing a portfolio of projects that will be financed through a clean energy supplier share launch.  The clean energy generated by our systems is purchased directly by the customer, ensuring the most efficient delivery of energy, so helping you save money.  If you know of a commercial or industrial sized roof in the area, or your business is interested in renewable energy or energy efficiency and is looking for attractive financing options for the project, please get in touch with us.

If you run a business in the area around Hove Station, you may be interested in newest initiative to benefit Small and Medium sized businesses (SMEs). 

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 12.39.11How it works

First, we analyse your electricity consumption from your energy bills  by installing electricity sensors, tracking your electricity consumption for a period of up to four weeks.  After the tracking period is complete, we meet with you to introduce the energy efficiency measures we recommend to help you save money on your electricity bills.  Upon agreement, our team of certified installers will fit the equipment for you, absolutely free.  We will then measure the savings achieved for the same period of time to demonstrate that the products actually do what it says on the tin.

As a result of the monitoring programme, we will prepare a report of our findings and review that with you.  At that point, you can either:

  1. purchase the energy savings equipment,
  2. we can remove it for you, or
  3. you can ask BHESCo to finance the equipment using our pay as you save model.

Contact us to start your free programme with BHESCo today!!

13 Mar 2014

Positive Energy – 21 March 2014

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A meeting with Caroline Lucas  wind turbines wyoming may 2013with Hanover Action for Sustainable Living

Looking at Positive Actions and policies to expand renewable energy and reduce fuel poverty. Community groups from across Brighton will be there to discuss alternatives for a cleaner future.

Hanover Community Centre, 21 March 2014 at 7:30pm

Come along for an evening of Positive Energy!  BHESCo will be there with energy tips, advice and more!

Come along from 5:00pm-7:30pm to try out an electric bike, and see a hybrid car in the Community Centre garden.

Poster MasterThe First of a Series of compelling Lectures on Energy related issues.

Steve Halsey will be speaking on: “Keeping the Lights On: Opportunities and challenges in a more renewable world”. Steve is one of the top energy engineers at UK Power Networks who, among other things, was responsible for ensuring the power stayed on during the Olympics.

Come and hear about the challenges involved in gearing up our regional power network to cope with ever increasing power demand and the expansion of wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.

The talks are hosted by Community Energy South at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road Brighton BN1 1YD  Doors open at 7pm for a 7:30pm start.

Brace yourself, there’s another £17 billion in national spending cuts predicted for this year.

Half of the cuts will be to bnuclear power plant and housesenefits, like the National Health Service.  This government has been relentless in pursuing its agenda of protecting their ideology at the cost of poor and vulnerable people, especially the elderly.   The Treasury introduced a budget that reduced corporate taxes, increased the personal allowance, costing the Treasury millions while cutting back benefits to offset the impact of their ideology on our national debt.  Our deficit has reached a serious state of concern, now ballooning to £1.2 trillion, three quarters of the size of the UK economy.  This might help to explain why fracking is so alluring to the people who control our energy policy – we need a source of income to boost the UK economy.  

The clean tech industry is consistently the fastest growing sector in the world.  Insufficient investment and policy turnarounds have badly impacted the UK’s low carbon industry, culminating in an attack on vulnerable people by stopping the Energy Company Obligation in March 2014.  Our Energy Policy has been broken for many years.  It’s time to start fixing it.

People with lesser means are still being fleeced by the Big Six energy suppliers.  Six million households in the UK are on key meters.  Five million households are in debt to their energy supplier, meaning that they are held captive and cannot switch.  Studies conducted by BHESCo in Brighton & Hove, have determined that people pay 20 – 40% more for their electricity and gas on prepayment or “key“ meters.  In winter, this means that people with key meters may run out of heat or electricity and not have the money to get the heating or lights turned back on.   Increasing more people across the city must make a decision whether to heat or eat.  Last year, 31,000 people died in the UK from the cold.  According to Age UK, 90% of these deaths were in people over 65 years old.  For the state not to provide for our  elderly and vulnerable people is a lamentable turn of events.  Considering the progress we’ve made in technology, our social services are evolving to Dickensian conditions.

67% of the British population would like the failed privatisation of 1993 reversed, to re-nationalise the energy industry.   Unfortunately, this is more a dream, disappointingly, a likely impossibility.   With a combined value well into the 100s of billions of pounds, the cost to the Treasury of reacquiring the energy suppliers and national grid would be too great to inspire political will.  We can also assume that since taxpayer funds have been spent on bailing out the banks, we do not have the economic capacity to buy back national assets we once owned.

Yesterday, the Department of Energy and Climate change released their Community Energy Strategy.  This report pledged support for community energy groups across the country.  BHESCo will continue to work with Brighton & Hove City Council to drive down the cost of energy locally, investing in the local community.  We expect that any support that we receive will create value for money for the taxpayer, delivering a low cost transition to a low carbon economy for less investment per kWh of energy generated or saved.

That is why Co-operative energy groups are so important.  Groups managed by social entrepreneurs are picking up gauntlet to remedy a failed energy industry.  20 years experience has been enough time for us to recognise that the model didn’t work and its time to consider attractive alternatives.  Show your support for community energy by joining BHESCo.  Call us or write to us.  Get in touch, we are here to help.

Hinckley point_Oblique_Aerial_View_1.70_MFINAL_RGB_cropped

photo courtesy of EDF Energy

This week, the Government announced that the taxpayer would be subsidising the construction of a £16 billion, 3.3GW new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.  The deal was stuck with EDF, the French state owned utility.  In the wake of the disaster at Fukishima, with dangerous levels of radioactive Strontium entering into their water, any investment in the construction of a new nuclear facility is short-sighted, presenting a formidable threat to the economic health and potentially the physical well being of future generations.

The subsidy presents the threat of a dangerous economic legacy for us now and for future generations.  The guaranteed strike price of £92.50 per MWh lasts for 35 years, and is twice the current price of electricity in the market today.

What this means is that every taxpayer, regardless of whether one benefits from it or not, will be financing the generation of this electricity for the next 35 years.  Because of the base load nature of nuclear power, there may be times when no one is consuming this electricity yet, the taxpayer will still be paying EDF and the investor consortia for generating it.

Foreign investment could comprise more than 50% of the ownership of the plant, which means our taxpayers’ money is contributing to the wealth of foreign nations instead of being invested at home.   It’s a no brainer for the Chinese to take up to a 40% stake in the consortium, because for them it is a guaranteed investment return with very little risk.  The move creates distortions in the supplier market and sets a greedy precedent for other suppliers.

Energy subsidies EnergiewendeThis graph, prepared by the EEG to analyse the level of subsidy to be provided for Hinckley Point demostrates that even when the taxpayer subsidy for decommissioning the plant and the long term storage of the nuclear waste is excluded, the subsidy for nuclear power far exceeds any subsidies for solar PV or Wind (either on or offshore).

It doesn’t make any sense to continue to invest good money into an expensive and dangerous source of electricity.  The lion’s share of the budget for the Department of Energy and Climate Change is allocated to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority to manage our legacy of radioactive nuclear waste.

The UK has the highest stockpile in the world of radioactive Plutonium buried in a temporary storage facility in Cumbria.  The cost of managing our nuclear legacy is estimated to be about £100 billion, the equivalent of the entire investment required to upgrade our electricity network.

We must reject this plan to expand the facility at Hinkley and support investment in clean, renewable energy generation and energy efficiency investment.  We must invest in a smart grid that would transform our network into a low carbon, clean energy generation, transmission and distribution network.  Please contact your MP and let them know you do not support any subsidy for nuclear power.

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