Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo) has reached the £1m milestone in its community share initiatives to to finance clean energy projects.
BHESCo, which launched its first fundraiser in June 2015, said: “With a proven track record of project delivery and a demonstrated ability to deliver on our promise to pay investors 5% interest each year, we expect that our future fund-raising initiatives will become both quicker and easier, enabling BHESCo to expand our impact beyond the boundaries of Sussex.”
The first million pounds has enabled BHESCo to develop 50 community-owned energy projects which collectively will reduce CO2 emissions by 5,478 tonnes over their operational lifetime.
It added: “There is a growing appetite for social impact investment opportunities among the general public as awareness of the climate crisis grows alongside an ever-increasing acceptance that things must not only change, but change rapidly.”
This will help to drive the UK’s energy transition, said BHESCo, with the government committed to a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050. This will require a mass programme of energy efficiency upgrades, low carbon heating solutions like heat pumps, microgrids and local energy trading.
“We believe we are ideally suited to capitalise on the business opportunities offered by the sustainable energy transition,” added BHESCo, “and we will continue to pursue our successful ‘Pay As You Save’ finance strategy to enable everyone in our community to improve the environmental credentials of their property.”
Founder and CEO Kayla Ente said: “Ultimately, what drives me the most is a wish to help other communities around the country to start their own energy co-ops, expanding on the local energy model and bringing more democratic ownership of our energy resources to residents across the UK.”