Brighton renewables co-op searches for neighbourhood to test energy scheme

BHESCo hopes to reach a minimum of 100 households on a street and to install rooftop solar PV on at least 50 homes

BHESCo – Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative – has launched a competition to find a neighbourhood in Brighton and Hove to take part in an energy saving and solar power programme.

The UK has some of the oldest housing in Europe – which, says BHESCo, left it vulnerable to the energy crisis which last year drove a sharp spike in gas and electricity bills and “meant millions of families across the country had to choose between heating and eating”.

The removal of government support means the winter ahead will be just as hard, it warns.

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BHESCo, a not-for-proft social enterprise which has delivered community energy projects across Sussex, warns thatt poor quality housing is also making it harder for Brighton and Hove to meet its environmental targets. Housing makes up 40% of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions and is a huge contributor to climate change.

Kayla Ente, CEO and founder of BHESCo, said: “For too long, governments have failed to address the need to modernise our homes, leaving thousands of households in our city worried about high energy costs and another tough winter ahead.

“To tackle the issue, BHESCo have developed a way to improve a whole street at a time, upgrading the insulation of homes and installing rooftop solar power for no upfront cost.”

With funding provided by the Greater South East Net Zero Hub, BHESCo is offering the for one neighbourhood in the city to be part of a demonstration project aiming to show how a street-level, community-led improvement programme can provide the scale and scope that is so desperately needed.

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The project hopes to reach a minimum of 100 households on a street and to install rooftop solar PV on at least 50 homes.

The co-op says that where possible, the programme will make use of government support programmes like the Great British Insulation Scheme to help reduce costs for eligible homes. Households will also be encouraged to participate in a community solar power programme where solar panels can be installed at no upfront cost.

Anyone interested in nominating their street for the competition is invited to find out more and apply at