Solar panel group-buying scheme launches to help Devon combat climate change

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Devon’s householders have the been offered a chance to help the county to reach its net zero target by joining Devon Climate Emergency’s solar panel group-buying scheme.

Devon Climate Emergency is made up of Devon’s principle public and private sector organisations, and they have joined forces to draw up a Carbon Plan, the county’s plan to reach carbon neutrality.

Devon Climate Emergency’s latest project is Solar Together, where with iChoosr Ltd they are are offering homeowners ‘the chance to buy high quality solar PV more cheaply than if they were buying alone.’

Led by Devon County Council, the scheme is partnered by 10 of Devon’s planning authorities, who are all members of Devon Climate Emergency’s Response Group.

Dr Phil Norrey, Chairman of the Devon Climate Emergency’s Response Group, commented on the announcement: “Devon Climate Emergency is committed to ensuring that Devon is net-zero by 2050 at the very latest.

“To achieve this, changes will have to be made at all levels, by everyone and every organisation.

“We will all have to take responsibility for our own carbon footprints, work together as a community and make the most of the opportunities that new technologies offer in areas including generating electricity sustainably.

“Solar Together brings together these three key elements, and by investing in a solar PV system, you will be part of the solution and will own your own solar ‘power plant’ which will continue to help reduce emissions and save you money for at least the next two decades.

“I would encourage any of our residents interested in cutting their energy bills and contributing to tackling climate change to register.”

The scheme’s partners are East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils, West Devon Borough Council, Exeter City Council and Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities.

Solar Together is one of the ways the Devon Climate Emergency is helping local people take a positive step to reduce their own carbon footprints.

Research by the University of Exeter shows that 19 per cent of all Devon’s carbon emissions are created by homes, with more than half of those by grid-supplied electricity.

Installing solar panels will reduce the amount of grid-supplied electricity needed for things like hot water, with a transfer to solar energy.

This scheme follows four similar projects run across the country last year which promise to deliver over 1,300 installations, saving an estimated 28,000 tonnes of carbon emissions from being produced.

After interested households have registered online, a ‘reverse’ auction involving pre-vetted suppliers will then take place this autumn and the winning bid will be the most cost-effective one for registered residents to then consider.

Registered households will then receive a recommendation, specifically tailored to the details they submitted in their registration.

If they accept the recommendation, the specifics of their installation will be confirmed with a technical survey and then a date can be set for installation.

Marie-Louise Abretti, iChoosr UK Solar Manager added: “With residents of Devon looking for opportunities to reduce their carbon emissions and save on energy bills, the Solar Together group-buying scheme offers a straightforward way to make an informed decision and access a competitive offer from a trusted provider.”

More information about the scheme is available here