Solar Power For Local Schools

BHESCo want to bring together our local community with one goal in mind – to help us put as much solar power as possible on local schools in Sussex

The world is facing an unprecedented climate crisis if we don’t take immediate action to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and start powering our lives with clean, renewable energy.

Schools are absolutely ideal candidates for solar power; they are in use during the daytime and often have big roofs to put lots of solar panels on.

Installing solar panels on schools will deliver significant (and instant) financial and carbon emissions savings in addition to providing a powerful example to students of sustainable energy in action.

Help our schools to spend their money on things that matter like books and equipment instead of wasting it on costly energy bills.

We're really excited about having the panels installed. We were proud to share earlier last term that we had the first qualified Climate Change teacher in Brighton and Hove working at Patcham Junior School and we are looking forward to taking a big step towards our environmental goals with the solar panel installation.

For us as a school, apart from the financial benefits of lower cost energy, we will be able to share the project details with our pupils and ensure that they remain enthused about reducing our negative impacts on the planet.
Solar For Schools - Alister Sutherland Headteacher Patcham Junior - Brighton Hove Energy Services Coop - BHESCo
Alister Sutherland
Headteacher, Patcham Junior

How you can help put solar on schools

To help us achieve our goal we’re encouraging residents and businesses from Brighton and beyond to become shareholder members in BHESCo.

For a minimum subscription of £250 investors receive 5% annual interest* on their investment and become part-owners of our business. All funds invested go directly towards financing new energy projects, and any profits made over time are channelled towards new projects.

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

Young people want action on climate - let's give them what they want

The global Youth For Climate Strikes have seen students demonstrating in over 2,000 cities worldwide. Young people today are keenly aware of the dangers posed by climate change and of the need for urgent action.

We want to show students in our city that a better future is possible by demonstrating that we can easily meet our needs with clean, affordable community owned energy.

How our Solar For Schools project works

BHESCo will raise the upfront cost of our Solar for Schools projects through a community share offer where individuals, groups, and businesses are invited to invest in return for 5% annual interest*.

Once the new solar power system is installed, BHESCo will sell the electricity that is generated to the school at a significantly lower cost compared to the prices offered by energy suppliers.

Over a number of years the school is able to repay the upfront cost of the solar panels while making big savings on their monthly electricity bills. Once the full amount has been repaid to BHESCo the school becomes the owners of the solar panels and can enjoy 100% of the electricity that is generated absolutely free for the lifetime of the equipment.

Our six new solar powered schools in Brighton & Hove

We are very excited to be working with these seven local schools and colleges to install over 1,000 solar panels that will have a generation capacity of 295kWp of clean renewable electricity.

We estimate that this will save the seven schools £283,923 over the lifetime of the project, in addition to reducing carbon emissions by 1,801 tonnes of CO2.

  • Brunswick Primary School
  • Tarnerland Nursery School
  • Saltdean Primary School
  • Patcham Junior School
  • Varndean College
  • Hertford Infants & Nursery School
  • Plumpton College

A race against time - help now before it's too late!

At the moment any excess electricity that is exported by one of our schools to the National Grid will be eligible for the ‘Feed-In-Tariff’ subsidy, which will go towards repaying the cost of installing the system.

The Feed-In-Tariff is a financial subsidy that rewards solar power generators for the electricity that they export to the National Grid. This often adds up to hundreds of pounds for each solar power project and has a significant financial impact on the cost-effectiveness of solar power to the schools.

Once a system has been installed and begins to generate power, the Feed-In-Tariff is guaranteed for twenty years.

However, despite having pre-accreditation for our six schools, there is a risk that the Government can pull the Feed-In-Tariff at any time at a great financial loss to schools.

It is absolutely vital that we install these five new solar panel systems as soon as possible to ensure that the schools can enjoy the benefits of the Feed-In-Tariff for the next 20 years.

Case Study - The Monstessori Place School, Uckfield

In 2016 the Montessori Place School established a new campus on a disused site on the outskirts of Uckfield. BHESCo were engaged to replace the existing Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) heating system with a more sustainable solution in addition to improving the energy efficiency of the property.

Technology Installed
  • 105 Solar Panels (27kW)
  • LED Lighting
  • Underfloor Heating
  • 300mm Roof Insulation
  • 7kW Air Source Heat Pump

Annual Savings To School

£4,630 per year

20 tonnes CO2

66,550 kWh

“The subliminal daily message of having the lights powered by the sun is the most powerful teacher we have in preparing our children for a future where they consider the wellbeing of the planet as being synchronous with their own”
BHESCo Testimonial Person WHITE
Paul Pillai
Headteacher, Montessori Place School

Why Solar For Schools Needs You

As a not-for-profit co-op, we rely on community investment to help fund our projects. Shareholders become members of our co-op and receive 5% interest on their investment*.

We’ve completed 45 community energy projects in this way, and its all down to the belief and support of our investors.

By raising funds from the community, we remove the burdensome upfront cost that can prevent homes, schools, and other properties from installing clean energy measures. This means that everyone can take part in the great energy transition and begin to power their lives with clean energy and efficient buildings instead of planet warming fossil fuels.

Our ambition is that every resident of Brighton & Hove becomes a member of our co-operative. Together we can truly take control of our clean energy future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each share in BHESCo is worth £10. The value of shares will not go up but may go down.

The minimum investment amount is £250 (25 shares) and the maximum is £100,000 (10,000 shares).

No. We want all of our Solar For School projects to go ahead and are raising funds towards a collective total for all of the projects together.

BHESCo receives income from a variety of different revenue streams, including the sale of energy through the Feed-In-Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive as well as direct to our customers from projects we have developed.

BHESCo intends to pay 5% interest to our investors on an annual basis, dependent on financial performance and cash flow. Shareholders can decide to have their interest paid out, invest it back into BHESCo, or donate it to our fuel poverty programme.

As with any investment there are a number of things to consider before investing your money. In particular you should appreciate that the value of your shares cannot go up, but may go down, so that you may not get back the amount you invested.

The Co-operative 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.

If any person has any doubt about the suitability of the investment which is the subject of this Share Offer they should consult with an appropriate authorised financial advisor on this investment.

Full details about the terms and conditions involved with becoming a shareholder member of BHESCo can be found in our 2019 Investor Pack

*5% = anticipated rate – your capital is at risk when you invest, so never risk more than you can afford to lose. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance. If you are in any doubt you should consult a financial adviser.

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.