Brighton 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.