BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 07 July '18

Sadiq Khan expands solar panel scheme after 4,000 sign up to the first phase of the group-buying model

Londoners and businesses in 12 boroughs will be able to buy high-quality, affordable solar panels, as Mayor Sadiq Khan expands his scheme to help make London a zero-carbon city by 2050.

Following a successful first phase earlier this year, eight further councils have signed up to the Mayor’s Solar Together scheme.

Residents and small businesses can register to buy high-quality panels to generate their own renewable energy, using a group-buying model to unlock significant savings from suppliers.

Improving access to solar

Sadiq’s Solar Action Plan, published on 29 June, outlines his ambition for more of London’s energy to be generated by solar technology.

Solar energy is an increasingly low-cost source of renewable energy and the Mayor is pushing ahead with efforts to ensure more Londoners and businesses can take advantage of improvements in this technology. He is also calling on government to do more to support the growth of the industry.

It is estimated that schemes like Solar Together could more than double London’s current solar energy capacity – but Sadiq is clear that London can, and should, go further to help meet his ambition for a gigawatt of power generated using solar in the capital by 2030.

There were nearly 4,000 registrations for the first phase, with more than 1,100 accepting the offer of more affordable solar panels.

‘This fantastic, practical leadership from the Mayor of London, with now over a third of London councils, will enable thousands of savvy Londoners to install high quality solar at a competitive price.

‘Solar Together London genuinely empowers Londoners to do their bit to spread solar across the capital’s roofs. This technology is so important to scale up fast if we are to tackle climate change and clean up the air we breathe.’

LEONIE GREENE
Advocacy and new markets director at the Solar Trade Association

Empowering Londoners

Camden, Haringey, Havering, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Newham, Waltham Forest and Westminster will join Brent, Ealing, Merton and Sutton – which took part in the first phase – in enabling residents and businesses to buy the panels at reduced costs.

Group-buying expert iChoosr, who helped deliver the scheme earlier this year, will also administer this second phase.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the second phase of Solar Together London will ‘offer even more Londoners the opportunity to buy and install solar panels for their homes and small businesses at a significant saving.’

He added that solar offers ‘an increasingly low-cost source of energy for Londoners and we need to speed up its roll out across the capital. City Hall are doing all we can through our new Solar Action Plan but more needs to be done at a national level.

‘The Government urgently needs to outline the future form of financial support for solar and how it intends to seize the opportunity to provide low-cost, reliable and clean power.’

Estimates suggest reaching the Mayor’s target of making London a zero-carbon city by 2050 will require 20 times more solar energy generation equipment to be installed across the capital than is currently in place.

35% cheaper solar installations

Solar Together London is part of the Mayor’s Energy for Londoners programme, which aims to cut Londoners’ power bills and supply the capital’s homes and workplaces with more clean, locally generated energy.

After Londoners have registered to be part of the scheme, a group of pre-approved solar panel suppliers bid in a reverse auction (where prices are driven down by competition between suppliers) to provide panels to interested residents and businesses.

The winning company in the first phase of the scheme was SolarCentury (together with Ikea), which offered an average saving of 35% on the cost of solar installations. Installations of the panels have already started in some areas.