Frequently asked questions
What is Brighton Energy Co-operative?
Brighton Energy Co-operative (BEC) is the trading name of Brighton Energy Limited, a Community Benefit Society registered in England, company registration number: 31107 R.
How does BEC make money?
Brighton Energy Co-operative generates income from selling solar electricity. We do this via
- Feed in Tariffs (for sites built before 2020)
- Selling electricity to our host sites
- Selling electricity to the grid.
What are the financial returns?
Brighton Energy Co-operative pays interest on shares bought before 2022 at 5% per annum. For new investments we aim to pay 5% on the first two years and 3.5% thereafter, reflecting the reduced risks of our newer projects.
When and how can I get my money back?
Each year Brighton Energy Ltd pays back 5% of the capital invested, in addition to interest. This takes the form of buying back shares from members. Note that BEC shares are not transferable, so they can only be sold back to BEC.
Does the value of the shares change?
No, the shares are always worth the same amount, unless the directors decide to write the value down (if the Society gets into financial trouble, for example). We use this type of shares because we are a Community Benefit Society (a form of Industrial and Provident Society) and thus regulated differently to a normal company.
Who manages Brighton Energy Co-operative?
The BEC operations team manages the development and installation of our PV systems and deals with ongoing maintenance. The BEC board is responsible for overseeing the organization, including authorising payments to shareholders.
How do I get involved?
- You can become a member of Brighton Energy Co-operative by purchasing shares.
- Each share is worth £1: the minimum you can buy is £300 & the maximum is £100,000.
- Owning shares means you can participate in BEC’s operation through its “one member, one vote” principle, regardless of how many shares you own.
- Members will elect the board of directors at the annual general meeting (AGM) on a three-year rotation.
- All applications are subject to the terms set out in the Rules of the Society.
What happens to my shares if I die?
The repaid value of the shares will normally be added to deceased’s estate for probate purposes. Our application form offers the option (if you so wish) to elect to nominate a recipient for the value of the shares in the event of your death.
Can I hold shares on behalf of children?
Yes! – you have the option of holding shares on behalf of someone who is under 16, which is set out in the application form.
What are BEC's costs?
We spend the money we earn on:
- paying any maintenance & repairs required for the panels and associated equipment
- paying for the running costs of Brighton Energy Co-operative
- payments into a sinking fund for replacement of the inverters
- funding annual interest payments to investors and capital repayments
- funding other low-carbon community projects
What happens if there is damage to the solar panels?
The panels are covered by insurance, which will cover the cost of replacement for the usual risks, including accidental damage.
What are the risks of buying BEC shares?
The directors have identified several key risks, which are laid out in our share invite offer documents.
Who should I contact if I’m still unsure?
We’re more than happy to answer your questions. You can contact us here.