4 September 2017

£1 billion solar programme for social housing tenants was launched in England and Wales

A solar programme which aims to install rooftop solar panels for social housing tenants across England and Wales was officially launched after Duch Maas Capital invested £160 million in the initiative.

The Government welcomed £160 million, as it is expected to unlock the rest of the £1 billion.

The panels will be installed for free by Solarplicity, which has partnered with social housing providers and local authorities across the country.

David Elbourne, CEO of Solarplicity commented in a statement: “Today’s announcement is a reflection of our exciting growth in the energy market, backed by international capital investment through the Department of International Trade”.

He added: “Solarplicity is committed to reducing energy bills for both solar and non-solar customers. Equipping them with the latest smart technologies, and 100 percent renewable energy, they are guaranteed to save with our Fair Market Price”.

The solar programme intends to install rooftop solar PVs in approximately 900,000 households.

110,000 households will receive solar PVs within the next eighteen months, and the rest of them will gradually benefit from the programme in the next five years.

The Community Energy Scheme will help the tenants realise annual savings of £192 million, meaning £240 in energy bills per year.

The programme will create around 1000 installation jobs.

Solarplicity inspired by the solar industry in the US, where military veterans are being trained to join the solar industry, and will also train local military veterans with the necessary maintenance skills.

Tenants in the North West will be the biggest beneficiaries with over 290,000 homes receiving solar panels in towns like Oldham and Bradford, followed by the North East and Midlands, with 184,000 and 154,000 homes from Leeds to Derby.

International Trade Minister Greg Hands visited a social housing development in Ealing to watch the process of solar PVs being fitted on rooftops.

He said: “After a record year for new foreign investment into the UK, this initial £160 million capital expenditure programme will deliver massive benefits to some of the UK’s poorest households”.

He added: “As well as creating 1,000 jobs and delivering cheaper energy bills for up to 800,000 homes, it shows yet another vote of confidence in the UK as a place to invest and do business”. 

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