More than 1,000 households who signed up for the council-supported Solar Together Sussex scheme will soon be running on cheap, clean electricity.
The first systems have been installed under the West Sussex County Council-led group-buying scheme, which enables residents across Sussex to install high-quality, roof-mounted solar panels at a competitive price.
Residents can also choose to fit a domestic battery system to store surplus electricity generated by their solar panels and use it when it’s needed.
By generating electricity from the sun’s rays, residents will save money on their bills and reduce their impact on the environment. The average UK home with solar panels can expect to reduce their annual carbon emissions by more than a tonne, which is equivalent of driving around 5,000 miles in a medium-sized, modern car.[I]
The scheme launched in October 2020 with a higher-than expected response rate. Of those who expressed an interest, 1,097 accepted their quote to install a solar PV system, 559 chose solar PV with a battery system and 82 decided to install just a battery to complement their existing solar PV system.
West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Deborah Urquhart, said: “Solar Together Sussex is a really good scheme that can deliver renewable energy systems to our residents at scale, to a high standard and at a competitive price.
“Interest in the scheme has been higher than anticipated. It has shown that a significant number of our residents are now seriously thinking about investing in renewable energy technology at home. This is really encouraging news as we all work hard to reduce our impact on the environment. The County Council has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and is keen to help residents do the same wherever possible.”
Solar Together Sussex is a partnership between Sussex local authorities and group-buying experts, iChoosr. It is one route for residents to get a competitively priced solar PV and battery installation in addition to approaching a reputable local installer directly.
On Solar Together Sussex, iChoosr works with skilled and accredited installers that offer customers a competitive price by taking advantage of economies of scale created by the large number of local installations generated by the scheme.
Installers must fit the systems according to the standards of workmanship agreed between iChoosr and local councils, who promote the scheme to their residents.
Solar Together Sussex is designed to be cost neutral to the local authorities involved.
Any surplus generated by the scheme will be paid into a fuel poverty fund overseen by West Sussex County Council and delivered to those in hardship through Citizens Advice.
[i] Calculation based on the 2019 Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ emissions figure (127.6 g/km) for the average new car sold in the UK.