Investing in community energy as a local solution to global climate change

Investing in community energy projects is one of the most simple and rewarding ways that people can get involved in the fight against climate change.

Climate strikes and street protests are crucial for galvanising public interest and starting a debate on the climate crisis, but both strategies focus on the Government implementing solutions to reduce national emissions.

The trouble is that government action usually takes a very long time – and in the fight against climate change, time is a luxury we don’t have.

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This is why the people of Brighton and Hove and throughout the UK are taking matters into their own hands, investing their money in community energy projects that deliver immediate and significant results for people and planet.

There are now over 58,000 members of community energy groups across the UK, where individuals and groups have invested their finances in projects that collectively reduce CO2 emissions by an incredible 143,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking 30,374 cars off the road.

How Are Community Investments Used?

We know that most property owners in the UK want to make their buildings more environmentally friendly, but are faced with the twin barriers of upfront cost and technical complexity.

To overcome these obstacles, BHESCo offer to design and finance our energy projects on behalf of our customers, using our innovative ‘Pay As You Save’ initiative.

Your investment is used to fund the upfront project costs for our customers. These costs are then paid back (plus interest that we pass on to our you) through savings achieved on customers’ monthly energy bills.

In this way, everyone can take action to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions, without the worry of high initial expenses.

1.Community share offer

Investors buy shares

2.Project Delivery

Funds are used to build new projects

3.Customer Lease Period

Upfront cost (+ interest) repaid using savings on energy bills

4. Interest Payment

Interest is passed on to investors

What Is BHESCo's Track Record Of Developing Community Energy Projects?

Since our first share offer launch in 2015, BHESCo has now completed 63 community energy projects which collectively reduce CO2 emissions by 3470 tonnes each year – equivalent to 1,088 barrels of oil.

Almost all of BHESCo’s community energy projects around Brighton and Hove have been completed using our ‘Pay As You Save’ financing, using investment provided by members of our co-operative.

When investing in community energy organisations, shareholders can be sure that every penny goes directly into funding more clean energy projects. There are no hidden admin fees or account charges, so you can be sure that all of your money is being used to deliver real benefit for the community. Furthermore,  as most community energy groups are not-for-profit organisation, investors can be certain that their money is not being used for personal gain.

Our impact is directly related to the amount of investment we can attract. 

More investment = more community energy projects = more carbon savings. 

BHESCo has attracted £1.5 million from people like you who are determined to make a real difference in the fight against climate change by investing in community energy projects.

As a not-for-profit organisation, BHESCo does not pay dividends to shareholders. Instead, we pay interest based on the value of shares invested with the co-operative.

Shareholders earn interest from the first working day of the month following the date of their investment. Interest is paid annually, or as determined by our members at our Annual General Meeting.

402 shareholder members

£1.5 million investment raised

£236k interest

paid out

Shareholder Say In Business Governance

Many community energy organisations are set up as co-operatives. This means that each shareholder gets one vote at Annual General Meetings, regardless of how many shares they hold. This is a much more equal away of making decisions about the business.

Typical business at AGMs involves the election of of Board of Directors, scrutiny of the organisation’s annual accounts, and decision involving interest distribution.

Things To Consider When Investing In Community Energy

When making any kind of investment, it is always important to remember that the value of the shares you purchase may change, so it is vital that you do not invest more than you are willing to lose. This is no different when it comes to investing in community energy.

When it comes to investing in BHESCo the value of your shares cannot go up and may go down so that you may not get back the full amount you invested.

Rooftop solar panels installed with funds provided by BHESCo shareholders in 2020.

Your investment is registered with but not authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority and therefore the money you pay for your shares is not safeguarded by any depositor protection scheme or dispute resolution scheme.

For more information and for full details of the risk factors involved with making an investment in communtiy energy please read the Terms and Conditions of our 2022 Investor Pack.

For further advice and guidance about investing you should speak to a financial advisor.

Please remember that our investments are not covered by the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme, and that prospective investors should be aware that the value of the shares, which will not be quoted, cannot go up, but can go down. In addition, there is no certainty that investors will get back the full amount they invest.


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