BHESCo are a not-for-profit social enterprise bringing together the community of Brighton and Hove to develop renewable energy projects, improve energy efficiency, reduce fuel bills and tackle fuel poverty.
Kayla Ente is the driving force behind BHESCo and their work around energy savings initiatives in Brighton & Hove. As a champion for the Big Energy Savings Network, for the past three years, Kayla has established over 15 regular ‘Energy Advice Desks’ around the city, helping the community save more than £5,000 last year by switching energy tariff and tackling fuel debt, advocating on behalf of customers in dispute with their energy supplier. In one case, she saved a vulnerable single mother of three an estimated £660 on her annual energy bill, registering her for the Warm Home Discount, bringing her total savings up to £800 for the year.
In January 2016, BHESCo successfully secured grant funding as a consortium with Citizens Advice and Money Advice from the British Gas Trust to launch their “Warmth for Wellbeing” project. Combined with an interest free loan from Social Enterprise Assist, BHESCo launched Brighton & Hove’s first home Energy Saving Service, making two of their volunteers into two full time paid energy advisors. These advisors have been awarded the NEA “Heat Heroes” Award, which will be presented to them at Westminster by Brighton MP, Dr. Caroline Lucas. Since the service was launched BHESCo has visited over 100 households suffering the impacts of fuel poverty. The visits result in the production of Energy Savings Reports for which, with the customer’s consent, BHESCo installs the recommended energy savings measures, taking steps to lower these customers’ fuel bills. BHESCo expects to exceed their target of 200 homes by this winter. The service has also generated 10 paid for energy assessments, with expectations that it will grow as its benefits become better known. The paid for service is intended to supplement the free service to combat fuel poverty. A partnership with local LED supplier and installer, Lightfoot LED, is helping to spread the word about the service to local estate agents and small businesses.
Community Energy Saving Award winner -
Kayla Ente of Brighton & Hove Energy Services Cooperative
with Ramsay Dunning of Cooperative Energy.
Kayla Ente says "It is an honour to receive this award from Community Energy England and Community Energy Wales. We are grateful for the recognition from our industry colleagues for the work that we are doing in the local community to make a difference in people’s lives. We appreciate the support that we receive from them, to ensure that our government recognises the impact that community energy can make to bringing fairness, equity and long term affordability to our energy industry. We encourage everyone to vote for our M&S Energy project – Solar for Hollingdean"