Our mission is to empower everyone in England to meet the cost of their energy needs with efficient buildings and clean, affordable, community-owned energy.
We will become leaders of the community energy movement, recognised for the depth of our knowledge, excellence in project delivery and strength of our community relationships.
We are a not-for-profit social enterprise who are passionate about enabling communities to take control of their energy supply.
Based in Brighton and Hove, we have delivered successful projects throughout Sussex and our reach is growing. We have the expertise to scale our offer throughout England, and hope to become known the world over as a model for how energy needs can be met sustainably and affordably.
With our help, our customers are leading the community energy revolution – together pioneering a new way to meet the financial and environmental cost of the energy we use, now and for years to come.
BHESCo is a consumer co-operative with over 270 shareholder members who all have an equal say in our governance.
Our shareholder members include those who have made an investment in our co-operative as well as all of our community energy project customers. In this way we remain accountable to our customers long after the project installation has been completed.
As a co-operative, each of our members is entitled to one vote regardless of how many shares they hold.
For a minimum investment of £250 you can become a member of BHESCo today, entitled to 5% annual interest* and the right to vote on the future of the business at our Annual General Meetings.
Kayla began her career with Deloitte & Touche in San Francisco and Ernst & Young in Amsterdam before moving to Greenpeace International in 1993. In 1999, as a business and project development consultant, her client portfolio included Nuon (the Dutch utility), and Ecofys (European pioneers in renewable energy).
At Nuon, she was the financial technician on wind farm development in China and Spain and PV development projects in California and Hawaii. She advised the IEA on the feasibility of a very large scale PV project in the Sahara Desert for DESERTEC.
In 2004, Kayla moved to London providing business development and advisory services to utilities and SME’s in the Cleantech industry. Kayla is a qualified accountant and has an MBA in Environmental Management from the TIAS Business School in the Netherlands. Kayla has been living in Brighton since 2012.
Diane Smith, Director of Operations, has been a finance professional for more than 25 years. After running treasury operations for The Economist Newspaper in London, she moved to the Netherlands to set up Nike’s European foreign exchange risk management programme and then to Belgium to lead operational support teams and IT project managers at BNY Mellon (a US investments company).
Diane has been working in the renewable energy sector since 2014
Rachel is an expert in waste management operations, strategic planning and development and has worked in the waste industry for 20 years.
She is a centre councillor for the London and South Counties Centre of the Chartered Institution of Waste Management and is currently engaged as a waste management specialist at the global sustainability consultancy Ricardo Energy and Environment.
Rachel has been a Non-Executive Director of BHESCo since 2015.
Garry has a strong business and policy background in energy, environment and sustainability, built in corporate organisations (IBM, Landmark Graphics) and leading consultancies (KPMG, A.T.Kearney).
He was formally CEO of the Energy Retail Association representing the big six energy companies in the UK where he was instrumental in setting up the Warm Homes Programme and ran the billing and selling codes as well as chairing the Supplier Requirement for Smart Metering board.
He was a founder director of the Carbon Trust leading on the UK’s carbon reduction programmes for business creating the Action Energy and Carbon Management programmes.
He has been a non-exec of the Energy Saving Trust, The Ombudsman Service Limited, The UK Public Health Association and Carbon Retirement. More recently he has worked at the Association for the Conservation of Energy leading on external communications and leading on the re-structuring of the organisation enabling it to merge with the Association for Decentralised Energy.
Nowadays he supports start-ups operating in the clean energy sector, supports the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy on their Energy Entrepreneurs Fund programme, Innovate UK and several advisory groups in Berlin.
He is a mentor for the energy sector to the Angel Academy, the award-winning women led angel network, which backs technology start-ups with at least one woman on the founding team. He participates in the Leader’s Quest; a social enterprise that works with leaders to create a more equitable and sustainable world and is a member of the Circular Economy Group. He mentors students from ‘a non typical background’ at the University of Leeds.
He is an alumnus of the University of Cambridge, HRH The Prince of Wales Business & The Environment Programme.
Paul is co-owner and co-founder of the multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy Phlorum, which he set up with a colleague in 2003. Before then he cut his teeth in environmental consultancy at WSP and RPS.
As a consultant, he has completed environmental impact assessment work on a very broad range of projects, from housing developments to energy production, warehousing, sewage treatment, various industrial processes and transportation infrastructure schemes.
His academic background is in plant ecophysiology and air quality management, having studied at a number of universities and institutions including Forest Research, Bangor University and the University of Sussex.
He still keeps his hand in active research, having recently been the industrial supervisor for EU Regional Development Fund and UK Research Councils funded PhD studentships at Liverpool, Lancaster and Sussex Universities.
He is a past member of the Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan Steering Group and is a full member of a number of professional environmental bodies and the Expert Witness Institute.
Paul lives in Brighton with his wife and two young daughters and is a keen cyclist and Thai boxer.
Simon is a mechanical engineer who has spent much of his career with the global engineering consultancy Ricardo, based in the Shoreham.
He has worked on emissions reduction for small commercial engines and then moved to Switzerland to work for truck manufacturer, IVECO whilst studying renewable energy technologies part time with Loughborough university. Between 2002 and 2007 Simon was with nPower renewables developing small hydro power schemes, before volunteering in Nepal also to work with hydro power.
He returned to Ricardo in 2007 where he worked on emissions reduction and fuel consumption improvement for a variety of combustion engines and more recently on power generation and renewable energy schemes.
He joins BHESCo with a desire to work full time on implementing the technologies we need to reduce CO2 emissions. Simon has also put his environmental concerns and technical knowledge into practice at home, recently undertaking a series of improvements to reduce his family home energy consumption by more than half, despite increasing the size of the house significantly to accommodate a growing family.
Tim joined BHESCo after qualifying as a Domestic Energy Assessor. He has several years’ experience working with an environmental and community-focused charity, visiting customers in their home, offering fuel debt advice, along with the installation of energy and water efficiency measures, in communities across East and West Sussex. He has an environmental science masters degree (MSc) in ecology conservation and biodiversity surveying. His background is in community-focused work, giving housing advice and benefit support. Tim is also qualified to deliver Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s).
“I am very proud to be part of a not-for-profit, community energy co-operative such as BHESCo, whose ethos is to put people and planet first, beginning at the local level. Tackling fuel poverty and empowering the community by reducing energy bills, increasing home energy efficiency, investing in vital renewable energy projects, and being a democratically controlled, community-owned co-op, is the heart of what we’re about.”
Svenja is a qualified Retrofit Co-ordinator and a level 4 Non-Domestic Energy Assessor. She is excited to be supporting BHESCo’s mission to decarbonise the domestic building sector and help build more community-owned, clean energy generation creating equity and resilience in local communities.
Svenja started her environmental journey studying Permaculture Design at the Brighton Permaculture Trust where she continues to volunteer on their permaculture and low-carbon building courses. She then entered the environmental not-for-profit sector working on carbon reduction projects and energy efficiency in businesses where she gained knowledge in multiple areas including efficiency in buildings and energy usage, staff engagement and behaviour change, plastic waste, water and food-waste reduction strategies. She also studies Environmental Management Systems and is an associate member of IEMA.
Svenja is actively involved in community work through volunteering with the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership. She looks after a local community composting site helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting food waste from going to landfill.
Dan joined BHESCo in November 2015 and is responsible for managing the co-op’s digital marketing and communications strategy. He brings over ten years of experience to the team, and is dedicated to ensuring that BHESCo is able to deliver only the highest standards of service to our members and our community.
Each winter, Dan is responsible for delivering BHESCo’s participation as a local champion as part of the Big Energy Saving Network. This involves the provision of free energy advice help desks as food banks and community centres around the city, and has become a cornerstone service of BHESCo’s work in the community.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this pioneering social enterprise. Working to help people lower their energy bills and stay warm, whilst also reducing Brighton and Hove’s carbon footprint, provides an invaluable service to the community and the environment. It seems like every day we achieve another small victory on behalf of our city”.
BHESCo was founded in 2014 by Kayla Ente, who remains the driving force of the co-operative to this day.
BHESCo’s initial share offer was in 2015, when we successfully raised enough money to complete our first four community energy projects. Since then we have completed 50 community owned energy projects which together reduce CO2 emissions by more than 375 tonnes per year.
We believe that everyone has the right to live in a warm home. In Brighton and Hove there are an estimated 15,000 households living in fuel poverty and BHESCo are dedicated to improving the living conditions of those living in cold, damp conditions.
Every winter we provide free advice talks and support sessions at food banks and health centres in Brighton. Since 2014, we’ve helped more than 2,000 residents to collectively save over £135,000 on their fuel bills.
We have also completed hundreds of free energy surveys for vulnerable households, making properties warmer, more liveable, and cheaper to heat.
Since 2015 BHESCo have completed 50 community energy projects which will cumulatively reduce CO2 emissions by 5,478 tonnes over their operational lifetime in addition to saving our customers an estimated £1.7 million on the cost of their energy bills.
Added together our projects reduce enough carbon emissions to offset:
We are very proud to have been nominated for the following awards:
Winner Regen Community Energy Initiative
Winner 2019 Community Energy England Carbon Saving Award
Winner 2019 NEA Heat Heroes Award
Winner 2018 Brighton and Hove Business Awards Green Business of the Year
Finalist 2019 Energy Institute Awards
Highly Commended 2018 Energy Efficiency Awards South East
Finalist 2017 Community Energy England Energy Champion Award
Winner 2016 Community Energy England Energy Saving Award
We’re constantly looking to improve our service and greatly value all feedback from our customers. Please take a moment to leave a review on Trustpilot or Google, where you can also see what others have had to say about BHESCo.
BHESCo is regulated by the FCA and is member and partner with a number of organisations
*5% annual interest = 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.