The public sector does not always get the credit it deserves – and this is certainly true for the innovative ways it has helped roll out PV during the past decade.
With an ability to invest for the long-term and a mandate to make society fairer and greener, organisations like Councils and Housing Associations are making a huge difference by investing in PV and now other technologies like LEDs and batteries.
Joju Solar was the top-ranked designer and builder of PV systems on the Procurement for Housing (PfH) framework (2011-15), and is one of two specialist solar PV companies on the new PfH framework which started on Monday 3 August 2015. We’re #1 ranked on the Fusion21 PV Framework.
Over the last few years we’ve installed PV for numerous social housing providers, including multi-million pound contracts for Brighton & Hove, Lewes, Oxford and Reading Councils.
A couple of approaches are outlined below.
Get in touch with us to see if your organisation could further its aims through PV or LEDs.
Some public sector approaches:
1. The social housing model
The popular model under the previous Feed-in Tariff (FiT) rates is as follows: owners of social housing (Councils, housing associations) invest in PV for their most appropriate buildings and earn returns from the FiT payments; electricity is given away to the tenants for free, in return for use of their roof space, giving them a substantial reduction in their electricity bills. This model has been used with great success and is helping to tackle poverty and reduce carbon emissions.
Under the new FiT rates the model shifts to more modest returns of around 2.8%, which still offers a zero cost way of reducing fuel poverty and carbon emissions.
So, an investment of £3,300 for a typical property (as part of a large roll out) would provide income of £4,600 over a project lifetime of 25 years.
Returns could be increased by charging the tenants for the solar electricity used – potentially at a reduced rate.
2. Commercial building PV still a great investment
Returns for solar projects on councils and Housing Associations are higher if installed on their own commercial premises. This is because as well as benefiting from the FiT payments, you can also benefit from using all or most of your own electricity, cutting the amount you buy from your electricity supplier.
For a 50kW scheme, with high levels of onsite use of the electricity generated, we expect to see returns on investment of 14-18%, depending on roof type.
If you have to choose between heating and food, solar panels can be literally life changing…