Solar panel and storage group-buying scheme to launch across Wiltshire

Join the group buying scheme to help cut carbon emissions and save on energy bills

Published 5 May 2022

Swindon and Wiltshire residents are being encouraged to come together to invest in renewable energy generation through a group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage.

Wiltshire Council is working in partnership with Swindon Borough Council and independent experts iChoosr, to deliver the Solar Together Wiltshire scheme which aims to make the transition to clean energy as cost effective and hassle-free as possible.

Solar Together Wiltshire will help Swindon and Wiltshire homeowners feel confident that they are paying the right price for a high-quality installation from pre-approved installers.

The bargaining power created by coming together as a group is the core principle behind Solar Together. This enhanced buying power allows the scheme to offer more competitive pricing than individual homeowners might get if entering the market alone.

All Wiltshire and Swindon residents who own their own house, or have permission from the landlord to install solar panels, have from 09 May until 14 June 2022 to register for the scheme. Small and medium-sized enterprises (non-domestic) and Commonhold Associations meeting this requirement can participate as well. It is free to register and there is no obligation to go ahead with an installation.

The initiative offers solar panels with optional battery storage and EV charge points, as well as offering battery storage for residents who have already invested in solar panels and are looking to get more from the renewable energy they generate and increase their independence from the grid. This scheme builds on four years of highly successful Solar Together programmes, run across the UK. To date Solar Together has delivered more than 7,000 installations and more than 130,000 tonnes of avoided lifetime carbon emissions. 

Cllr Richard Clewer, Wiltshire Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said:

"To help us achieve our bold climate change targets, we've always looked to encourage innovative and simple measures that residents can carry out themselves to make a positive impact.

"Solar Together Wiltshire is a great opportunity for anyone who has been looking into adopting solar technology at home, and it will provide no-obligation, affordable options for people to consider.

"One of the key missions in our business plan is to lead the way to mitigate the climate challenges ahead, and in running this scheme we hope we will inspire and encourage people to take collective action where they can."

Councillor Keith Williams, Swindon Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Finance and Commercialisation, said:

"With rising energy prices and renewable energy being a key solution to help tackle climate change, I'd encourage residents to consider the Solar Together scheme and whether solar panels could be right for them. 

"As someone who has solar panels myself, I'm pleased that this innovative group-buying scheme gives Swindon residents the chance to install high quality solar panels and battery storage at a competitive price, while also being guided through the process."

How does it work?

  • From 9 May until 14 June: Householders can register online to become part of the group for free and without obligation.
  • Pre-approved UK solar PV suppliers participate in an auction on 14 June. They are able to offer competitive pricing as the volume and geographic concentration makes it possible for them to realise greater efficiencies, which they pass onto customers.
  • After the auction, registered households will be emailed a personal recommendation that is specific to the details they submitted in their registration. This will include the costs and specifications of the system.
  • If householders choose to accept their recommendation, the specifics of their installation will be confirmed with a technical survey, after which a date can be set for the installation of their solar PV system.
  • Telephone and email helpdesks are on-hand throughout the whole process which, together with online information sessions, will allow households to make an informed decision in a safe and hassle-free environment.

For more information, people living in Wiltshire can visit Solar Together Wiltshire while those living in Swindon should visit Solar Together Swindon.

Residents from across Swindon and Wiltshire who wish to contact iChoosr should email wiltshire@solartogether.co.uk or call 0800 048 8113.

For those in Wiltshire not eligible for this scheme, but are looking for ideas on lowering their carbon footprint, or how to access support or grants for energy efficiency in homes, then please visit Climate change - what can you do as an individual?.

Swindon residents can find out more about what they can do to play their part in tackling climate change, while also reading about what other initiatives are already taking place across the town, by visiting Swindon Borough Council: Be The Change.

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Published 5 May 2022