Solar Power For Sussex Schools

BHESCo are bringing together our local community with one goal in mind – to generate as much solar power as possible on schools in Sussex

The world is facing an unprecedented climate crisis and BHESCo is taking 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 where we can install lots of solar panels.

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."
Alister Sutherland
Headteacher, Patcham Junior

How you can help accelerate the community energy transition

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.

climate emergency protest school students
A 'Youth for Climate Strike' march in 2019. Photo: Callum Shaw - UnSplash

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 are showing 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 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 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 eight solar powered schools and colleges in Sussex

We are very proud to have partnered with eight local schools and colleges in Sussex to collectively install over 1,000 solar panels. Added together these projects have a combined generation capacity of 414kWp and will save the schools an estimated £423,951 on energy costs over the operational lifetime of the technology.

Furthermore, by enabling schools to generate their own on-site solar power, we expect to reduce carbon emissions by 2,442 tonnes of CO2 over the next 20 years – enough to offset more than six million miles driven by car1.

Year: 2016

Solar PV Capacity: 27kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £49,260

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 171 tonnes

Brunswick Primary, Hove

Year: 2020

Solar PV Capacity: 99kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £87,420

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 612 tonnes

Hertford Infants, Brighton

Year: 2020

Solar PV Capacity: 48kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £123,580

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 288 tonnes

Patcham Junior, Brighton

Year: 2020

Solar PV Capacity: 29.7kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £13,060

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 175 tonnes

Year: 2019

Solar PV Capacity: 49.5kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £98,370

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 271 tonnes

Tarnerland Nursery, Brighton

Year: 2019

Solar PV Capacity: 13.75kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £43,740

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 79 tonnes

Saltdean Primary, Brighton

Year: 2019

Solar PV Capacity: 49.8kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £52,261

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 299 tonnes

Plumpton College, Plumpton

Year: 2019

Solar PV Capacity: 97.1kW

Lifetime Financial Saving: £96,680

Lifetime CO2 Saving: 547 tonnes

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 56 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.

*3% = 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.