Frequently asked questions
Here are a few of the questions that we are often asked by prospective members. You can see exactly how the investment process works below. If you have any further inquiries please do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form.
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,
Registration number: 31107 R.
How does Brighton Energy Co-operative make money?
Brighton Energy Co-operative generates revenue via
- FIT revenue from each of its sites and
- Selling electricity.
What are the financial returns?
Brighton Energy Co-operative pays investors interest of 5% per annum, commencing a year after installation is complete.
When and how can I take my money out?
Each year Brighton Energy Ltd pays back 5% of the capital invested, in addition to interest. This takes the form of buying back Brighton Energy Ltd shares.
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 projects?
The Brighton Energy board manages the installation of our PV systems and deals with ongoing maintenance. The board is responsible for authorising payments to shareholders in accordance with the terms set out in the share invite document and in the Rules of the Society.
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 is Brighton Energy Co-operative’s revenue from the feed-in-tariff to be spent on?
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 low-carbon community projects (see below)
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 risks are there?
The directors have identified several key risks, which are laid out in the share invite document.
Who should I contact if I’m still unsure?
We’re more than happy to answer your questions. You can contact us here.