Liverpool City Region Combined Authority launches second round of group-buying scheme for solar panels to help residents and small businesses cut energy bills and carbon emissions
Many more homes across the Liverpool City Region are set to be fitted with energy-saving solar panels and battery storage and electric vehicle (EV) charging points with the repeat of a successful money-saving, group-buying scheme.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, launched Solar Together last year to enable residents to cut their energy costs while also reducing their carbon emissions
It is part of a raft of measures to enable the city region to reach the ambitious target to be Net Zero by 2040 or sooner.
A total of 585 installations were completed during the first round of the scheme, which reduced installation costs by up to 33% for a typical 14-panel layout.
The £5m invested by residents is predicted to deliver 10,300 tonnes of carbon reduction over 25 years – equivalent to taking 5,700 cars off the roads for a year.
Councillor David Baines, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Net Zero and Air Quality, said:
“There is clearly a demand for solar panels to cut energy bills and to help the environment but for many people the process can seem complicated and finding a trustworthy contractor daunting.
“Solar Together helps to address those concerns by offering a simpler way to make the leap – last year’s scheme was popular and hopefully that success will encourage and reassure others.
“We know that we will need to halve our total energy use as a city region to hit our target of being net zero carbon by 2040 or sooner and every house and business that can produce its own energy takes it that much closer to our target.”
Councillor Trish Hardy, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Deputy Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, said:
“Residents across Liverpool City Region are looking for opportunities to reduce their carbon emissions, save on energy bills and increase their independence from the grid.
“With our scheme to retrofit energy saving measures, we are continuing to work with our local authorities to help people deal with the cost-of-living crisis and meet our environmental targets.
“For those looking to invest in solar panels, the Solar Together group-buying scheme has helped drive down installation costs and it is encouraging to see so many people take advantage.”
Councillor Gill Wood, Deputy Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Net Zero and Air Quality, said:
“We have successfully secured £105 million to fund the installation of energy efficient measure such as insulation, air source heat pumps and solar panels for low-income households, which we know is making a real difference to people’s lives while helping tackle the climate emergency. Solar Together provides a cost-effective way for self-funders who want to do their bit by fitting solar panels and batteries, knowing that installation is backed by the Combined Authority and our local councils.”
Solar Together Liverpool City Region was launched in August 2022, the latest in a number of successful programmes run across the UK.
In the installation phase 585 installations were completed and finalised as part of Solar Together LCR 2022 – 551 solar PV installations totalling 5,962 panels and 34 additional customers installing retrofit storage.
There were also 11 EV charging point installations completed in the 2022 scheme.
Companies in Birkenhead, Wigan and Mold won the contracts to carry out the work.
A fresh round of registrations runs from 28 August to 27 October. It is free to register and there is no obligation to go ahead with an installation. The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority is working in partnership with Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral councils, and independent experts iChoosr, to make the transition to clean energy as cost effective and hassle-free as possible.
Once registrations have closed, pre-approved solar installation specialists will bid to complete the work in a reverse-auction. Purchasing at scale in this way offers residents better value than buying as an individual.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has already fitted energy-saving features free-of-charge to more than 2,500 properties occupied by low-income households across the city region, as part of a £105million programme to retrofit 10,000 homes.
Anyone who want to register for the scheme should visit: www.solartogether.co.uk/lcr
How does Solar Together work?
• From 28 August until 27 October: 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. 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 on with lower prices for installations.
• After the auction, registered households will be emailed a personal recommendation which is specific to the details they submitted in their registration.
• If they 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.
• All installations will be completed by 15 June 2024
• Telephone and email helpdesks are on-hand throughout the whole process which, together with information sessions, will allow households to make an informed decision in a safe and hassle-free environment.