In August 2023, Dr Timothy Laing, a senior lecturer from the University of Brighton’s School of Business and Law, investigated the financial and environmental impacts of BHESCo’s fuel poverty alleviation work in Brighton and Hove.

His carefully researched report clearly shows how the help required and action taken by BHESCo clients has evolved as the energy market has changed post-Covid and post the war in Ukraine. 

Whereas once most of our support involved helping clients switch energy supplier to access cheaper tariffs, after 2021 this was no longer an option. As energy prices spiked, we have seen requests for financial support via grants and fuel vouchers rocket to 72% of all clients in 2022-2023.

Key findings from Dr Laing’s report show that BHESCo has helped over 3,000 households reduce their energy use over the last 7 years and this number is increasing year on year.

Customers reached by BHESCo (2016 - 2023) Source: BHESCo data

During the period of the study (2016 to 2023) the energy saving equipment which BHESCo has installed in client’s homes (Radflek, LED bulbs, draughtproofing etc) has saved an estimated collective total of £300,000. By 2030 this same equipment is expected to have provided savings of almost £800,000 over its lifespan.

Total financial savings from BHESCo's interventions Total to 2023 and Total to 2030

The benefits of BHESCo’s work are not just financial, the energy saving installations that are saving our clients money have also helped prevent over 360 tonnes of CO2 (a major cause of global warming) being released into the atmosphere. This saving could potentially rise to 700 tonnes by 2030 as the energy saving equipment continues to do its job. Up until 2023, the CO2 saved is equivalent to the emissions from driving 2.5million miles in an average petrol powered car.

The impact report was funded by the European Research Council and was published in August 2023. To celebrate the launch of the report, BHESCo and the University of Brighton held an event at the Bevy Pub in Bevendean, as part of the ‘Brains at the Bevy’ programme. 

BHESCo’s Dan Curtis discussed the challenges faced by UK billpayers and the support that is available, whilst Dr Timothy Laing talked the audience the the findings of his report. The evening was recorded for a Brains at the Bevy podcast which you can listen to here:

Click the button below if you would like to read Dr Laing’s full report.