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Want lower energy bills? Now’s a good time to get solar panels

Categoriesnews Planningnews, Environmentnews

Image captionImage 1: Pictured is Mark Warren outside his Barons Court home of 30 years

As energy bills soar, Hammersmith & Fulham Council is helping local residents to get high-quality solar panels at a competitive price through the Solar Together scheme.

Residents can register their interest for the bill-busting group-buying scheme now.

Getting started with solar

Solar panel systems (and their price tag) can be daunting, and many people don’t know where to start.

That’s why, for the second year running, we’ve teamed up with the Mayor of London, to make the transition to clean energy as cost effective and hassle-free as possible.

With Solar Together, residents can register their interest in this group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage to save stored surplus electricity for a rainy day.

Residents can feel confident that they are paying the right price for a high-quality installation from pre-approved installers, which will boost local renewable energy generation and cut carbon emissions across H&F.

“Solar panels can help residents and local businesses in our borough lower their energy bills”, said Cllr Wesley Harcourt, H&F Cabinet Member for the Environment.

“It’s part of how we’re tackling the climate emergency and will help us reach our ambitious target of net zero carbon emissions in H&F by 2030.”

Coupled with our current offer for H&F residents to get free pre-planning advice through the council, this is the perfect time to let the sun pay for your electricity bills.

Hear from other local residents

Many local residents have already purchased solar panels through Solar Together.

These include Mark Warren, 64, who has lived in Barons Court for 30 years. He says he’s delighted about his eight solar panels that he had installed last year for his five-bedroom home.

“They’re humming away! The app allows me to track how much energy is being generated – at any moment, or the daily or weekly amount. I think since putting it up, I’ve generated about 560 kW hours of power.

“I’m more than pleased with it. There was a confidence effect knowing that they’ve vetted everybody and that there’s an overall encouragement from the council. People want to do their bit where they can, and I think this collective decision-making and getting the same provider in the area is the driver, really.

“Would I have done it otherwise? Unlikely! There’s so much choice. You have a look and think ‘crikey, all of these people think their system is the best!’

“When I tell other people about it, they say ‘oh, you must have spent £8,000 on it’, when in reality, I spent less than half of that. Well worth it! Next on the list is a battery.”

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Image caption: Image 2: James Barton outside his Brook Green home

James Barton, 47, who lives near Brook Green in Hammersmith said:

“The fact that the council are organising it on behalf of so many people in the borough, vouching for the tender process and asking people to sign up, gave me comfort.

“And I’d do it again. Because I think it’s easier than to try and do it myself.

“I would recommend my friends and family and other people to get solar panels, definitely. Once they’re up and plugged in, they’re zero hassle to maintain.”

How does it work?

Registration: You can register your interest for solar panels and/or battery storage between now and 15 March – for free and without obligation. The more people that sign up to buy solar panels as part of a group, the more competitive the deal for each H&F household.

Auction: An ‘auction’ will be held on 15 March, where our pre-approved solar installers will submit bids for the work. All suppliers have been pre-approved as independent experts to ensure our residents receive high-quality installations with extended guarantees.

Personal recommendation: From 4 April, you will be emailed your personal recommendation based on your registration details.

You decide: There is no obligation to accept the offer. You will have until 13 May to decide whether you would like to continue.

Installation: If you accept, you will be invited to an information session. The winning installer will contact you to survey your roof and set an installation date.

Free pre-planning advice

While solar panels do not normally require planning permission, it may be needed in some instances, including conservation areas and listed buildings.

To help residents understand if planning permission is required, H&F council is currently offering free pre-planning advice for local homeowners interested in retrofitting their home for reducing carbon emissions.

Our planning team will be able to advise whether planning permission is needed before applying for solar panels or battery storage through Solar Together.

Want to discuss your requirements? Contact us on planning@lbhf.gov.uk

Sparked your interest?

Solar Together offers telephone and email support along the way to help residents make an informed decision.

You can get in touch with their Helpdesk via their contact form, or on 0800 060 8509, Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm.

For more details, visit the Solar Together blog or read a list of frequently asked questions.

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