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Solar Energy

Thousands of homeowners are generating their own electricity and getting paid a tax free and inflation proofed income to do it. Returns are guarenteed for the next 20 years. To find out more click here.


Community Energy

Many home roofs are not suitable for solar panels. They face the wrong way or are shaded from the sun. But anyone can invest in community power schemes and still generate income from solar panels.

GREEN HEAT

Thanks to a new Government scheme we can now offer subsidy payments on the installation of heat pumps. If you currently use oil or electricity to heat your home or office please contact us. 


News

Basingstoke Energy Services Co-operative meets with Government Minister.

Basingstoke is home to a unique community enterprise. One of the first in the country.

Last year saw the launch of Basingstoke’s first ever solar energy co-op. Basingstoke Energy Service Co-operative (Bes Co-op) has been quietly installing solar panels in and around the Borough for the last 6 months.  But it made its formal launch in September with the arrival of its first adverts on Kestrel Radio and followed meetings with both the Minister and shadow minister of Climate Change in London.

The co-op has a unique approach says Andy Molloy, Bes Co-op CEO, –

“unlike other solar panel installers we are owned by our customers.  Everyone who buys a solar panel system from us gets a great value deal but they also become an owner of the business. This means all our customers get a say on how the co-op is run and more importantly get to share in the profits at the end of the year”.

 Martin Heath a founder member of Bes Co-op adds

“It’s all about trust.  Our customers know they are getting the best deal because they own the company”.

Bes Co-op designed and installed one of the UK’s first community owned power stations on Brookvale Village Hall. This is owned and operated by Brookvale Community Association and provides BCA with its largest source of cash.

 As well as installing solar panels across North Hampshire over the past few months Bes Co-op has been busy lobbying the local council and national government on the behalf of the people of Basingstoke.

 Martin Heath says

“There’s a bit of a myth developing that solar panels are not such a good investment as they used to be.  But that’s not true.  Well designed and engineered solar systems can still generate returns in excess of 10%”  He added “we have meet with both the shadow Minister and the government Minister responsible for solar power and made sure they are aware of what’s happening at a local level”.

Greg BarkerThe Government are listening says Andy “Although they have reduced the subsidies on solar systems the reductions have not kept up with the fall in solar panel prices – so it still makes great financial sense to invest in home solar systems”. 

Martin (left) and Andy (right) met with the Greg Barker MP Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change in London. Andy and Martin were meeting with Minister to ensure subsidies on solar panels where still high enough to give a good financial return. The Minister provided a written response to their questions and confirmed subsidies would be held at a level to guarantee at least an 8% return on solar panel investments. Mr Barker said “The Coalition pledged to support community ownership of renewable energy schemes and we have said on many occasions that local people are best placed to decide what is best for their communities”.

DECC’s new plans give energy  co-operative’s -  like Bes Co-op  - advantages over commercial organisation when installing large scale solar systems.

Martin and Andy also meet with the Caroline Flint MP – Shadow Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change, at the Houses of Parliament to ensure all sides of the political spectrum heard the views of people in Basingstoke.  Ms Flint’s view is equally clear “The Government needs to empower councils and community groups and let them get on with improving energy efficiency and generating their own power”. That’s just what Bes Co-op is doing.

What are Co-ops?

Co-operatives have been in existence for over 150 years and some of the UK’s largest companies are co-operatives.  This includes John Lewis (and Waitrose), The Co-operative Bank, Nationwide Building Society. There are now over 5,900 co-ops in the UK with 13.5 million members and a combined turnover of £35.6 billion. Basingstoke’s first co-operative was formed in 1892 and the Basingstoke Co-operative Society grew to such an extent that at one point over 25% of the town’s adult population where members.  Basingstoke Co-operative Society became part of the large Co-operative retail operation in 1968 when it was brought by the Portsea Island Co-operative which is now part of the larger Co-operative retail group.

Basingstoke Energy Services Co-operative is Industrial and Provident Society for the benefit of its customers and was incorporated in January 2012.  It is registered with the FSA.  It installs renewable energy technology within 20 miles of Basingstoke.  To date it has installed systems in Basingstoke, Old Basing, Newbury and Ecchinswell.