Solar Power For 800,000 UK Social Housing Households

Solar panels on public housing

Solar Energy Systems For UK Public Housing | Image: P-Association

A social housing solar panel installation programme in the UK will see 800,000 households save up to £192m on electricity costs annually and generate more than a thousand jobs.

On the weekend, UK International Trade Minister Greg Hands announced £160 million of capital expenditure was to be injected into UK renewable energy by Dutch company Maas Capital, which is part of the ABN AMRO Bank.

The investment marks the beginning of a £1 billion programme involving Solarplicity partnering with more than 40 social landlords, including local housing authorities, to create a Community Energy Scheme where solar panels are installed free of charge for tenants. The tenants will purchase electricity generated by the solar power systems at a cost cheaper than mains-supplied power. On average, tenants are expected to save £240 a year (~AUD $400) on their electricity bills through the scheme.

The project will create more than 1,000 new jobs involved with installing and maintaining the systems, with many of the positions to be filled by military veterans who will undergo retraining for their new solar careers.

Approximately 100,000 households will have their solar power systems installed over the next 18 months, with the remaining 700,000 over the next five years.

In London, approximately 83,000 households will benefit from cheaper energy bills through the programme. No doubt the announcement will be well received by Mayor Sadiq Khan, who published his draft solar energy plan last month; noting challenges with installing solar in the city due to a large proportion of homes being rental housing stock.

Solar On Public Housing In Australia

There have been some efforts to put solar panels on public housing in Australia, albeit on a much smaller scale.

In South Australia, a Renewal SA led pilot project is installing 400 solar photovoltaic systems on public housing across the state. The project, involving solar installers Suntrix, Cool or Cosy and Zen Energy, will be completed by the end of this year.

In Queensland, a trial announced in March this year will see up to six megawatts of new solar PV installed on up to 4000 detached government-owned house across the state.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011), 314,692 dwellings were being rented from state or territory housing Authorities. 150,963 of those dwellings were separate houses and 68,547 were semi-detached (row or terrace houses, townhouses etc.).

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare states that as at 30 June 2015, there were around 817,300 tenants in social housing, with 82% of these in public rental housing.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Warwick Sands says

    Hi Michael,
    Most of your articles don’t generate a need fromor feedback; but I just wanted to say a big “thank you” for the interesting and informative articles you produce for this website.

    Cheers Warwick

  2. Hello.

    I have made reference to the UK scheme, in an email message that I sent to a local Greens party representative in the WA state parliament, a copy of which message content, is published at the bottom of my web page published at http://www.armadale-wa.net/clean-energy.html – the post is dated “Added 4 September 2017”.

    In WA, the current state government, which claims to be broke, regards spending $120million on a new marina, to benefit the ostentatiously rich, and to further damage the environment, than providing cheap, clean, electricity to the less well off.

    The tories in the UK appear to be more concerned with the less well off, and, with the environment, than the WA Labor government.

  3. In that last post of mine, above,


    In WA, the current state government, which claims to be broke, regards spending $120million on a new marina, to benefit the ostentatiously rich, and to further damage the environment, than providing cheap, clean, electricity to the less well off.

    should instead, be


    In WA, the current state government, which claims to be broke, regards spending $120million on a new marina, to benefit the ostentatiously rich, and to further damage the environment, to be more important to achieve, than providing cheap, clean, electricity to the less well off.

    Maybe, sometime before we are all dead and gone, WA will have a state government that cares about the less well off, and, that cares about the environment.

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