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Investing In Community Energy Is A Solution To 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.

The Youth For Climate Strikes and the protests of the Extinction Rebellion are absolutely wonderful movements and we support them 110%, but they both call on governments to take the lead on the climate crisis.

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.

Investing in Community Energy - Brighton Hove Energy Services Cooperative - Running Out Of Time
A Youth For Climate Strike march in London in 2019

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

There are now over 48,000 members of community energy groups across the UK, where both individuals and groups have invested their finances in projects that now collectively reduce CO2 emissions by an incredible 71,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent of taking 15,074 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 often cannot afford the upfront costs.

To overcome this obstacle, BHESCo finance all of our energy projects on behalf of our customers, using our ‘Pay As You Save’ initiative.

Investments are used to finance the upfront project costs on behalf of our customers. These costs are then paid back (plus interest that we pass on to our investors) through savings achieved on our customers’ monthly energy bills.

In this way, everyone can take action to reduce their carbon footprint, while also saving money and without the worry of high initial expenses.

Investing in Community Energy - Brighton Hove Energy Services Cooperative - How Community Investment Are Used To Develop Community Energy Projects
Investing in Community Energy - How Our Pay As You Save Model Finances New Community Energy Projects

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

All of BHESCo’s community energy projects around Brighton and Hove have been completed using our ‘Pay As You Save’ model, financed by investment from members of the community.

When investing in community energy organisations, shareholders can be sure that every penny goes directly into funding more clean energy projects. The more people who decide to invest means more new projects get developed, which in turn brings greater community resilience and a reduction of overall carbon emissions.

Furthermore, as most community energy groups are not-for-profit outfits, investors can be certain that their money is not being used for personal gain.

Since our first share offer launch in 2015, BHESCo has now completed 42 community energy projects which collectively reduce CO2 emissions by 240 tonnes each year – equivalent to 556 barrels of oil.

Investing in Community Energy - Brighton Hove Energy Services Cooperative - BHESCo Cumulative Community Energy Projects
Investing in Community Energy - BHESCo Cumulative Community Energy Projects

BHESCo has attracted over half a million pounds from people 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.

170 shareholder members

£570,000 investment raised

£28,500 interest paid

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 amount you invested.

investing community energy renewables

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 2019 Investor Pack.

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

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