In Brighton & Hove there are an estimated 15,000 households that struggle to keep their home warm enough over winter, and living in cold conditions can have a terrible effect on your health with an estimated 135 ‘excess winter deaths’ in the city each year due to cold housing. At the Brighton Journal we find this outrageous, it’s just not right that residents of this wonderful seaside town should be shivering themselves to an untimely death!
We all know that there’s nothing better than a cosy warm bedroom on a cold and gloomy winter morning, and we think that everyone should feel the pleasure regardless of economic pressure.
The Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-op (BHESCo) feel the same way, and that’s why they run free energy bill ‘health checks’ each winter to help some of Brighton and Hove’s most vulnerable residents stay warm.
They help people to navigate the sometimes complex consumer energy market, to switch to a cheaper supplier or tariff, and to apply for financial support from initiatives such as the ‘Warm Home Discount’.
Since 2014 they’ve helped over 900 people save an estimated £54,000 on their energy bills, keeping residents out of the cold and in the clear.
BHESCo is a not-for-profit social enterprise aiming to one day become a community energy supplier in Brighton & Hove
Brighton and Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo) was founded in 2012 by Kayla Ente, with the aim of advancing the transition away from fossil fuels in our energy supply and towards clean, renewable energy.
As well as tackling climate change, BHESCo is dedicated to reducing fuel poverty, and has given free energy advice to 650 residents in the area. In total so far, BHESCo has reduced energy bills in the community by £123,500, and this will only increase as the years go by.
In recognition of our vital work, BHESCo is honoured to have received awards from Community Energy England and National Energy Action, and to have been shortlisted as a finalist for Green Company of the Year in the 2017 Brighton & Hove Business Awards.
“Without those visionary investors from 2015 we wouldn’t be where we are today. Now we need to aim even higher. We want to to create a locally energy supply that can make a real impact on climate change.
We’ve proven that our economic model works and that we can repay our investors with interest. We now need more investors to take the leap with us and help transition to a low carbon economy for the sake of future generations” – Kayla Ente
Visit their website here to find out how you can refer someone you think is in need of their help, and you can even get some free energy-saving advice for yourself while you’re there!
For free, impartial advice on your energy bills, visit the team for a chat at any of the locations detailed in the map below. To find out when they will be running an energy desk near you, give them a call on 0800 999 6671.
The team also give talks to lunch clubs and residents meetings around the city – if you would like someone from BHESCo to talk to your group, please get in touch and they’d be delighted to come along to your next meeting.
If you work in frontline or healthcare services you can refer clients to BHESCo for help with their energy bills. Please send any enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.