What has happened over the last three years

Brighton & Hove City Council has signed up as an affiliate member of the Your Energy Sussex (YES) partnership, an energy saving partnership between local authorities across Sussex and Carillion (a leading UK energy services provider). YES is aiming to reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions for Sussex residents and businesses and has a range of projects across the county.

Through funding from the DECC Heat Network Delivery Unit, four feasibility studies for city heat networks have been undertaken (in heat priority areas) to explore techno-economic feasibility.  These place affordable warmth as a key priority.

  • Eastern Road and Clarendon Road studies have been completed with the aim to further develop the opportunities & potentially produce robust business cases and models for the installation of heat networks in these areas.
  • A heat network study for Toads Hole Valley has been completed identifying a viable scheme in the Hangleton area. Planning policy with heat network design guidance has been published for consultation. 
  • A study for a heat network for Shoreham Harbour has been completed but the project has now been handed over to Adur & Worthing Councils as the scheme will not have capacity to supply heat into the Brighton & Hove Authority area.

Significant spend has been carried out to improve the energy efficiency of our own housing stock. Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data for our own housing Shows an  average SAP rating of  65.2 (end of June 2016)  which is in Band D (55-68).  The average for England & Wales at this time was 60 (also Band D).  Improvements in SAP rating are largely down to a history of upgrading the property with measures such as:

  • Cavity wall insulation, loft insulation and double-glazing;
  • Installing more efficient gas condensing boilers.  The HRA capital programme has invested significantly in upgrading heating across our properties. The strategy in place since 2007 is for all properties with a gas supply to have “A-rated” appliances by 2021/22.The impact of this programme is significant as ttthe effect of upgrading from a “D” to “A” rated boiler can save on average £105 per household per annum (based on estimates from the Energy Savings Trust).

For properties not on the gas network or technically not suitable for gas boilers the developing HRA Energy Strategy will set out alternative options to be considered such as heat networks and other low-carbon technologies.

There have been larger projects too:

  • Overcladding at Bristol Estate; and high rise blocks such Essex Place, Warwick  Mount, Kingfisher Court; Hereford Court, Wiltshire House, saving an estimated 525 tCO2 p.a.;
  • Upgrading lifts and switching to LED lighting systems that are more efficient;

Through investing £1.6M, we now have around 400 solar PV arrays on our own housing stock (including new build), with estimated savings of 1176 tCO2 to date.

Carbon emissions from our own housing stock have been reducing due to above actions – estimates are that emissions have reduced from 46,000tCO2 per annum to 30,000tCO2

District heating potential in the city has been explored in detail at four sites following awards of funding from the government’s Heat Network Delivery Unit. Sites explored are Eastern Road, Hove Station, Shoreham Harbour and Toads Hole Valley. Business cases are being taken forward for heat network delivery at Hove Station and Shoreham Harbour (initially led by Brighton & Hove City Council and now led by Adur and Worthing Councils). Policy to secure a Heat Network for Toads Hole Valley is being explored for the new Supplementary Planning Document for the site as part of the aspiration for an exemplar scheme for the site.

Planning guidance has been developed and adopted to assist householders in improving the energy efficiency of existing housing particularly in older ‘hard to treat’ stock. These are the Planning Advice Note on External Wall Insulation and the Planning Advice Note on energy efficiency for historic housing in Conservation Areas.

The Eco Open Houses event has showcased homes and buildings that have been built or retrofitted to exemplar and zero carbon standards. This provides a forum for peer to peer learning, networking, promotion of best practice and professionals in sustainable construction.

Community Energy – Brighton & Hove’s two main energy service companies continue to flourish with some great achievements and exciting new projects on the horizon

Brighton & Hove Energy Services Co-operative (BHESCo)

In January 2016 BHESCo launched its Energy Saving Service designed to help local homes & businesses reduce their energy use, carbon emissions, and fuel bills. Since then we have visited over 240 properties, of which 234 were free assessments to help people in fuel poverty.  We conducted 24 paid for energy assessments and installed energy efficiency measures in 150 properties.  In total, this service has saved customers £34,000 on annual fuel bills and lowered carbon emissions by 66 tonnes. In recognition of our innovative new service, which brings care back into the energy industry, BHESCo was given the Energy Savings Award by Community Energy England and a Heat Heroes Award from National Energy Action.

In addition, since October 2015, BHESCo have completed fourteen community energy projects generating 50kW of electricity and a heat network in Horsham generating 80kW. In our first year of project development, we have saved small businesses in our city £15,000, by installing energy efficiency systems, generating 143,000 kWh of clean electricity, the equivalent of the annual electricity consumption of 36 homes, while removing 68 tonnes of carbon emissions from the atmosphere.  

Brighton Energy Cooperative

Since 2014 Brighton Energy Coop have installed 865kWp of community funded solar PV on sites in Brighton and the South East. We have raised just under £1M (in addition to £0.5M raised in 2010-14) and doubled our membership to 350 members. We have also funded a PV array on the Earthship and 30 energy assessments for people in fuel poverty as part of BEC's community fund.

Green Growth Platform

Since launching in 2014, the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform has brought together a thriving network of 750 green businesses. It helps its members to grow - through a menu of business coaching, product and service development support, access to funding, events and skills development - and it builds connections and facilitates collaborations across its membership base.

The Green Growth Platform is at the heart of a flourishing low carbon economy across Sussex. Its work has helped create over 130 green sector jobs in the region and it has worked with local businesses on over 60 projects to develop new low carbon products and services. Visit for more information.

The University of Brighton

Over the past three years the University of Brighton has achieved a 13% reduction in energy-related carbon emissions through an ambitious programme of technical projects and behaviour change campaigns. This improvement in environmental performance has occurred despite a 7.5% increase in the University's estate and an enriched student experience, with several buildings having extended opening hours and many others with enhanced functionality.

Carbon reduction projects include the installation of 240kW of solar photovoltaic arrays on the roofs of 11 buildings, lighting refurbishments in two library buildings, and investment in the University's building management system (BMS) to improve energy efficiency. This has been supported by the University's in-house 'c-change' campaign to engage with students and staff throughout the University, to promote sustainability initiatives and to encourage environmentally responsible behaviour when studying or working on campus.

The University is also working to promote sustainable travel when travelling to or between campuses, with the launch of a car-sharing and journey-planning platform, investment in cycling facilities and the promotion of public transport options in Brighton.