From today (15 February), Essex residents and businesses can register for ‘Solar Together Essex’, the solar panel group buying scheme aiming to help make the county zero-carbon by 2050.
The Essex County Council scheme helps buyers through the process of purchasing high quality solar panels, offering lower prices than the open market and pairing up residents with trusted suppliers.
Solar Together Essex helps residents to save money on both installation and future energy bills.
The more people that register their interest for the scheme, the more competitive the offer Solar Together can secure. Once the registration period closes, pre-vetted solar panel suppliers will bid for the work.
Everyone who has registered will be sent a personalised offer from the winning supplier, and then participants can decide if they wish to continue with the work. There is no obligation to continue. The scheme is run in partnership with iChoosr – a group buying specialist.
Solar Together Essex reduces a lot of the complication of buying solar panels, something which can be quite daunting.
Elizabeth McCorkle, from Wickford said:
“We participated in the 2018 Solar Together Essex Campaign and are very pleased with the results. We had considered having solar panels installed for a while but were concerned about obtaining quotes from bonafide companies.
“A council-run scheme gave us the assurance of having qualified and reasonably priced contractors installing our solar panels. I cannot tell you the pleasure we have when watching our Smart Meter showing no electricity output when we use our washing machine.”
Battery storage is also available under the scheme. This saves unused energy generated by solar panels, meaning that people can use energy whenever they want, rather than just during the day, further cutting their energy bills.
Cabinet member for Environment and Waste, Cllr Simon Walsh said:
“Having solar panels installed is one way of contributing to a greener and brighter future for our county and our aim to bring all greenhouse gas emissions in Essex to net zero by 2050.
“Solar panels can also help save Essex residents money on their energy bills and generate clean electricity too. I would encourage anyone considering purchasing solar panels to find out more about Solar Together Essex.”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Registration: Register for free and without obligation by 23 March at www.essex.gov.uk/solartogether
To register, simply provide details about your roof such as size and orientation.
Auction: a supplier ‘auction’ will be held on 23 March, when our approved solar suppliers will bid for the work. As a group we can get a more competitive offer and a better deal for everyone.
Personalised offer: from 12 April you will be contacted with a personalised offer, based on the specifications of your roof. This includes your costs and return on the investment of a solar panel installation.
You decide: the decision is then yours as to whether you want to accept your offer. There is no obligation to continue. You will have until 21 May to decide and will be invited to visit an online information session to find out more.
Installation: if you accept the offer, the winning supplier will contact you to survey your roof and set an installation date. All installations are planned to be completed by the end of October 2021.
To register and for more information please visit www.essex.gov.uk/solartogether or call 0800 048 8639. Lines are open Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm.