DEVON’S householders are being invited to join a solar panel group-buying scheme which aims to help the county become net-zero.
The Devon Climate Emergency group’s latest project is Solar Together and, with group buying experts iChoosr Ltd, they 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 DCE’s Response Group, who have joined forces to draw up a Carbon Plan, the county’s roadmap to carbon neutrality.
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, and 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.
Dr Phil Norrey, chairman of the DCERG, said: ‘The DCE 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.’
If you are interested, the first step is to register for free www.solartogether.co.uk/devon/home – by registering, there is no obligation to install panels.
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.
Leader for South Hams District Council, Cllr Judy Pearce, added: ‘As part of the partnership, we’re committed to finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint.
‘We would encourage South Hams residents to sign up and see how collectively we can get a good deal for solar panel installation which will also go some way to reducing the district’s carbon footprint. It’s a win-win situation.’
West Devon Borough Council’s, Cllr Mike Davies, chair of Climate Change Working Group, said: ‘Solar power is a great way to save money on your energy bills while helping to reduce carbon emissions. This is a great scheme which we’re delighted to be a part of, so it’s worth registering to find out more.’
Research by the University of Exeter shows that 19 per cent of all Devon’s carbon emissions are created by our 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 more eco-friendly solar energy.