Who are Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo)?

Who we are at BHESCo

BHESCo stands for Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative. 

We are a not-for-profit social enterprise who work with property owners and renters in Sussex and the South East, enabling them to take control over their energy supply and reduce the environmental impact of their buildings.

Based in Brighton and Hove, we have delivered many successful community energy projects throughout Sussex and our reach is growing.

We have the expertise and the ambition to scale our social enterprise business model throughout England. We hope to be considered as an archetype of how heat and power needs can be met sustainably, affordably, and democratically.

How do we help our customers?

BHESCo operates within the community energy sector, providing consultancy and project management services and developing new projects through the power of community investment.

Experience tells us that most property owners want to reduce their environmental impact, but don’t take action because of the technical complexity or financial cost of achieving their goals.

BHESCo offers a solution to such barriers by providing a trusted project management service which delivers a cost-effective, technologically savvy energy solution delivered at no upfront cost.

With our help, our customers are leading a community energy revolution – together pioneering a new way to meet the financial and environmental cost of the energy we use, now and for decades to come.

The BHESCo Team (left to right) Dan Curtis, Sofia O'Donovan, Kayla Ente, Diane Smith, Tim Beecher, Rosie Walls, Simon Punyer, Roland Baldock.

BHESCo's Mission

Our mission is to empower everyone in England to meet the cost of their energy needs with efficient buildings and clean, affordable, community-owned energy.

BHESCo's Vision

We will become leaders of the community energy sector, recognised for the depth of our knowledge, excellence in project delivery and strength of our community relationships.

What we've achieved so far

58 community energy projects completed

£1.5m investment raised

1,000+ energy saving surveys conducted

407 shareholder members

Our Unique Business Model

The majority of BHESCo’s community energy projects are financed through a community share offer paying investors a 3% return.

The upfront cost is repaid by the project customer over a number of years using a portion of the savings achieved from their monthly energy bill.

By meeting project costs in this way we are able to remove any financial obstacles that can prevent property owners from improving the energy performance of their buildings.

1. Research and Design

We survey your property and recommend energy improvements

2. Fundraising

Upfront project costs are met by investors who buy shares in BHESCo

3. Project Delivery

Investments are used to develop clean energy projects

4. Finance Period

Customer repays project costs (plus interest) using savings from energy bills

5. Interest Payments

Interest is passed on to investors

6. Transfer of Ownership

Customer becomes the owner of the energy saving system

What does it mean to be a member-led co-operative?

BHESCo is a consumer co-operative with over 400 shareholder members who all have an equal say in our governance.

The majority of our members are people who have made an investment in our co-operative, putting their money to good use reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change.

Our other members include current and previous community energy project customers, who are invited to join the co-op as part of our business relationship with them. In this way, BHESCo remains accountable to our customers long after the project installation, because all of our customers become members of our co-op and have a say in how we are run.

As a co-operative, each of our members is entitled to one vote regardless of how many shares they hold.

For a minimum investment of £500 you can become a member of BHESCo today, entitled to 3% annual interest* on your investment plus the right to vote on the future of the business at our Annual General Meetings.

BHESCo Executive Team

Kayla Ente MBE
Founder & CEO

Kayla established BHESCo in 2013 and is the driving force behind the co-operative. Kayla is responsible for new business development and is the primary lead on the BHESCo Projects Team. Kayla was awarded an MBE in 2021 for her services to community energy.

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Kayla is a non executive director of RetrofitWorks, a transformational co-operative offering quality assured energy efficiency measures using their unique retrofit platform.

Kayla is a qualified accountant with an MBA in Environmental Management from the TIAS Business School in the Netherlands. She began her career with Deloitte & Touche in San Francisco and Ernst & Young in Amsterdam before becoming a financial manager at Greenpeace International in 1993.

In 1999, as a business and project development consultant, her client portfolio included Nuon, a Dutch utility, and Ecofys (European pioneers in renewable energy).  At Nuon, she was the financial technician on wind farm development in China and Spain, and supported the development of solar PV projects in California and Hawaii. She advised the IEA on the feasibility of a very large scale PV project in the Sahara Desert for DESERTEC.

In 2004, Kayla moved to London, to start a consultancy service providing business development and advisory services to utilities and SME’s in the Cleantech industry.  Kayla has been living in Brighton since 2012.

Kayla was honoured with an MBE in 2021 for her services towards community-led energy efficiency.

Mark Kenber
Chairman & Non-Executive Director

Mark was formally CEO of Mongoose Energy – a company providing asset management, project development and finance services to the community energy sector. Prior to joining Mongoose, Mark had been with international climate change NGO The Climate Group for nearly 12 years, with the final five of these as CEO. 

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During his time with the Climate Group Mark oversaw the launch of the Verified Carbon Standard, We Mean Business coalition and RE100 campaign and was an expert advisor to former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair on the joint policy initiative Breaking the Climate Deadlock.


Mark’s other experience includes being Senior Policy Officer for the WWF’s International Climate Change Programme, Director of Planning and Policy at Fundacion Natura in Ecuador and climate advisor to the Ecuadorian government.

He lives in Brighton with his family, is a keen theatregoer, gardener, runner and activist and a season ticket holder at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Diane Smith
Operations Director

Diane has been a finance professional for more than 25 years. After running treasury operations for The Economist Newspaper in London, she moved to the Netherlands to set up Nike’s European foreign exchange risk management programme and then to Belgium to lead operational support teams and IT project managers at BNY Mellon (a US investments company).

Garry Felgate
Non-Executive Director

Garry has a strong business and policy background in energy, environment and sustainability, built in corporate organisations (IBM, Landmark Graphics) and leading consultancies (KPMG, A.T.Kearney).

He was formally CEO of the Energy Retail Association representing the big six energy companies in the UK where he was instrumental in setting up the Warm Homes Programme and ran the billing and selling codes as well as chairing the Supplier Requirement for Smart Metering board.

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Gary was a founder director of the Carbon Trust leading on the UK’s carbon reduction programmes for business creating the Action Energy and Carbon Management programmes.


He has been a non-exec of the Energy Saving Trust, The Ombudsman Service Limited, The UK Public Health Association and Carbon Retirement. More recently he has worked at the Association for the Conservation of Energy leading on external communications and leading on the re-structuring of the organisation enabling it to merge with the Association for Decentralised Energy.


Nowadays he supports start-ups operating in the clean energy sector, supports the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy on their Energy Entrepreneurs Fund programme, Innovate UK and several advisory groups in Berlin.


He is a mentor for the energy sector to the Angel Academy, the award-winning women led angel network, which backs technology start-ups with at least one woman on the founding team. He participates in the Leader’s Quest; a social enterprise that works with leaders to create a more equitable and sustainable world and is a member of the Circular Economy Group. He mentors students from ‘a non typical background’ at the University of Leeds.


He is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, HRH The Prince of Wales Business & The Environment Programme.

Rachel Espinosa
Food Waste to Energy Director

Rachel is an expert in waste management operations, strategic planning and development and has worked in the waste industry for 20 years.

She is a centre councillor for the London and South Counties Centre of the Chartered Institution of Waste Management and is currently engaged as a waste management specialist at the global sustainability consultancy Ricardo Energy and Environment. Rachel has been a Non-Executive Director of BHESCo since 2015.

Paul Beckett
Non-Executive Director

Paul is co-owner and co-founder of the multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy Phlorum, which he set up with a colleague in 2003. Before then he provided environmental consultancy at WSP and RPS. As a consultant, he has completed environmental impact assessment work on a very broad range of projects, from housing developments to energy production, warehousing, sewage treatment, various industrial processes and transportation infrastructure schemes.

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Paul's  academic background is in plant ecophysiology and air quality management, having studied at a number of universities and institutions including Forest Research, Bangor University and the University of Sussex.


He still keeps his hand in active research, having recently been the industrial supervisor for EU Regional Development Fund and UK Research Councils funded PhD studentships at Liverpool, Lancaster and Sussex Universities.


He is a past member of the Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan Steering Group and is a full member of a number of professional environmental bodies and the Expert Witness Institute.


Paul lives in Brighton with his wife and two young daughters and is a keen cyclist and Thai boxer.

BHESCo Staff Team

Roland Baldock - project and asset manager at brighton hove energy services co-operative

Roland Baldock
Project Manager

Roland is a construction professional who spent the last decade working around the world with leading maritime construction contractor Van Oord Ltd.  He has worked on numerous projects in a variety of roles including as a civil engineer, cost estimator, procurement specialist, construction site manager, and a project manager. 

Simon Punyer
Project Developer

Simon is a mechanical engineer who has spent much of his career with the global engineering consultancy Ricardo, based in Shoreham. Between 2002 and 2007 Simon was with Npower renewables developing small hydro power schemes, before volunteering in Nepal also to work with hydro power.

Tim Beecher - Energy Saving Service Team Leader at Brighton Hove Energy Services Co-operative

Tim Beecher
Energy Efficiency Advisor

Tim joined BHESCo after qualifying as a Domestic Energy Assessor. He has an environmental science masters degree (MSc) in ecology conservation and biodiversity surveying. His background is in community-focused work, giving housing advice and benefit support. Tim is also qualified to deliver Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s).

Rosie Walls - Energy Assessor - Brigjton Hove Energy Service Co-operative

Rosie Walls
Domestic Energy Efficiency Advisor

Rosie joined BHESCo having previously worked with the retail supplier Bulb Energy as an energy specialist. She has volunteered for Citizens Advice and Child.org and has previously worked for the environmental organisations WWF and the Ecosystems Knowledge Network.

Socfa O'Donovan Bookkeeper - Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative

Sofia O'Donovan
Accounts & Bookkeeping

Sofia is fluent in several major languages which have enabled work in different countries in Europe and South America. Sofia studied Internaional Relations at the University of Barcalona and Economics with Specialization in Sustainable Economics at the Universidad Catolica del Ecuador. Sofia is currently working towards a Xero Bookkeeping and Accounting certifications.

Dan Curtis - Customer Services & Communications - Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative

Dan Curtis
Customer Services & Communications

Dan joined BHESCo following a previous career working in financial services. Dan is responsible for all of BHESCo public facing communications, including website development, social media, events, and media. Dan is also BHESCo’s project lead on the Big Energy Saving Network, providing free energy saving support and advice to residents across the city.

BHESCo's History

BHESCo was founded in 2014 by Kayla Ente, who remains the driving force of the co-operative to this day.

BHESCo’s initial community share offer was in 2015, when we successfully raised enough money to complete our first four community energy projects. Since then BHESCo have completed over 50 community owned energy rojects which together reduce CO2 emissions by more than 400 tonnes per year.

READ MORE >>> How Kayla https://bhesco.co.uk/who-we-are/kayla-enteEnte founded BHESCo

Measuring our environmental & social impact

Since 2015 BHESCo have completed 58 community energy projects which will reduce carbon emissions by more than 6,900 tonnes over their operational lifetime in addition to saving our customers nearly £2 million on the cost of their energy bills.

Added together the carbon emissions savings from our projects are the same as:

13.5 million miles driven by car

6,040 flights from London to New York

884 home's electricity use for a year

Recognition From Ofgem

In their 2016 report ‘Local Energy In A Transforming Energy System’, the UK energy regulator Ofgem recognised BHESCo’s business model as a key solution to accelerating the transition to low-carbon energy .

Read report

What are people saying about BHESCo?

What is community energy and how will it support the UK's climate change targets?

To avoid 4°C of global warming and the worst-case scenarios of runaway climate change, communities across the UK must work in partnership to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. Together, we can demonstrate what can be achieved when people are united in their ambition.

Community owned energy systems will be a key factor in avoiding catastrophic climate change, by enabling towns and villages throughout England to live and work in buildings that are affordable to heat and powered from locally generated renewable sources.

BHESCo is partnering with a number of communities across the South East to develop local, sustainable microgrids and heat networks that will deliver multiple benefits to local residents while preserving our natural environment.

Shared Ownership residents can become investors in and co-owners of their local energy infrastructure, ensuring fairness, transparency and equal access to all those the network serves.
Part of an international community – join thousands of community energy members across the world who are uniting to develop sustainable low-carbon heat and power projects.
Bigger than politics – transcend the divisions of party politics and unify communities to take agency and ownership over local energy provision.
Power the UK’s net zero transition – make fossil fuels history and leave a healthy, thriving planet that future generations can depend on.
Building local resilience – community energy projects contribute to local job creation, provide protection against price volatility and establish new revenue streams for community benefit.
Working in partnership – in every community there are people who can make a contribution, whether they are an electrician, a councillor, an IT specialist, an engineer or a city planner.

Become a member – Got money sat in a low interest savings account? Join hundreds of other shareholder members who are putting their money to work developing community led solutions to the global climate crisis.

Partner with BHESCo  – our passionate team of experts would love to become your partner in driving down the financial and carbon costs of your home, business, or entire community.

We believe that everyone has the right to live in a warm home and we are dedicated to improving the living conditions for those who are forced to live in cold, damp, depressing conditions.

In Brighton and Hove there are an estimated 16,000 households living in fuel poverty, which means they cannot afford to adequately heat their homes during the winter to a comfortable level.

Every winter we provide free energy bill advice talks and support sessions at food banks and health centres throughout Brighton and Hove. Since 2014, we’ve helped more than 2,500 residents to collectively hundreds of thousand pounds on their fuel bills.

We have also completed 1,000 free home energy surveys for households living in damp and hard to heat properties, making homes warmer, more liveable, and more affordable to heat.

BHESCo's Award Winning Community Energy Services

We are very proud to have been nominated for the following awards in recognition of our exceptional services:

Winner 2019 Regen Community Energy Initiative

Winner 2019 Community Energy England Carbon Saving Award

Winner 2019 NEA Heat Heroes Award

Winner 2018 Brighton and Hove Business Awards – Green Business of the Year

Finalist 2019 Energy Institute Awards

Highly Commended 2018 Energy Efficiency Awards South East

Finalist 2017 Community Energy England Energy Champion Award

Winner 2016 Community Energy England Energy Saving Award

We’re constantly looking to improve our service and greatly value all feedback from our customers. Please take a moment to leave a review on Trustpilot or Google, where you can also see what others have had to say about BHESCo.

*3% annual interest  = anticipated rate – your capital is at risk when you invest, so never risk more than you can afford to lose. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. If you are in any doubt you should consult a financial adviser.