Brighton Energy Co-op have recently been granted £100K in funding from the Next Generation Fund to trial connecting electric vehicle charging points at sites where BEC already owns PV arrays. The University of Brighton has agreed to be one of the first sites as it already has solar arrays installed and the charging points will utilise renewable energy from these solar panels. The aim of the trial is to establish whether owning electric vehicle charge points could provide community energy groups with a viable new income stream to support post-FiT business models.

As part of the trial Brighton Energy Co-op will be experimenting with different strategies to drive using of charging points including, for example, establishing an electric vehicle charging club that would offer members loyalty points for using the community operated charging points.

It is hoped that by the end of the trial, Brighton Energy Co-Op will have a scalable, replicable model for community energy funded charging points which will enable revenue to be created and reinvested in the local economy and drive the further uptake of electric vehicles by community energy groups nationally.

Benefits to Asset Owner

  • Benefit 1: Ability to offer electric vehicle charging service to University staff, students and visitors supporting more journeys to be taken by electric vehicle
  • Benefit 2: No capital investment in charging facilities required 
  • Benefit 3: Visible contribution supporting community energy innovation

Benefits to Community Energy Group

  • Benefit 1: Reduction in carbon emissions through facilitating electric vehicle use
  • Benefit 2: New business model that is potentially viable without subsidies  
  • Benefit 3: Opportunities to connect with other technologies and opportunities such as onsite renewables and battery storage

How it was Funded

The project is being funded through a grant from the Next Generation Fund.  The funding model for future community electric vehicle charging points would mirror that for renewable energy installations with community share offers/bonds or loans being used to finance the charging points.