Kayla Ente, the founder and CEO of Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo), has been appointed as an honorary Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
The honour has been conferred by The Queen in recognition of Ms Ente’s services to community-led energy efficiency projects.
Kayla founded BHESCo in 2013 with a mission of eliminating the barriers to uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency systems. Since then, the not-for-profit co-operative has raised over £1.4 million in local investment which has supported the development of 57 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Brighton, Hove and throughout Sussex.
Asked how she felt upon receiving this award, Kayla said:
“This is such a tremendous honour that was totally unexpected. My mission, when I established BHESCo, was twofold, to empower people to take action on climate change by extracting the value from the technologies available and to introduce a social enterprise demonstrating that environmental and economic progress could be achieved simultaneously. My priority was to accelerate people’s action on the climate crisis by establishing trust and accountability with customers, which is why BHESCo was established as a not-for-profit co-operative.
To be recognised with one of the highest honours in England for work that I am extremely passionate about makes me very proud to be a contributor for social change in the energy sector, while leading on delivering innovation for communities. BHESCo has also done remarkable work to combat fuel poverty in Brighton and Hove, which is very gratifying in itself.
In a year when the UK is hosting the vitally important COP26 climate conference, it is so important that community energy is acknowledged as a key player in the solution to the crisis. This award demonstrates people’s recognition that change happens on a micro level and community energy services provide a means of transitioning to clean, affordable local energy solutions on a national level. Energy efficiency is a vital part of staying warm for less money as well as reducing carbon emissions.
I encourage any Councillors and community leaders in Sussex who have declared a climate emergency to contact BHESCo to deliver a net zero energy strategy for your community.”