Halt Climate Change – Build a Community Fund

When are energy prices going to stop going up?  Well, certainly not in the near future that’s for sure. But there is good news for Cranleigh, Ewhurst and surrounding villages! Solar Streets, a discounted community Solar PV Scheme will be available from May.  It is designed to bring affordable solar panels to your community so you can be instrumental in halting climate change and future-proof your electricity supply.  It also builds a Community Fund to be used for green issues by donating £50 to the fund for every Residential Installation and £100 for a Commercial Installation.

Solar Streets started out in Frome in 2019 when the local Council declared a Climate Emergency and wanted to see if they could band their residents together to get a discounted solar scheme.  IDDEA, a solar company operating since 2007, came up with the best scheme and added a community fund benefit.  The Frome campaign was very successful and, as well as saving residents money and carbon, also paid for half of the cost of installing solar panels on the local Youth Club with the Community Fund.

Since then, Solar Streets has grown and is currently running over 20 schemes across the South of England, including High Wycombe, Henley-on-Thames, Wells, Didcot, Brue Valley, and Swanage, with several other schemes coming on board in the next few months.

Why is the scheme so successful?  It’s simple really: people want to be greener; solar panels are cheaper and more powerful; electricity prices are rocketing and demand will rise further as we replace fossil fuels and change to electric cars; so, it feels good to be a little more self-sufficient.

Come and find us at the Cranleigh Eco Festival, Saturday 23rd April 10am-4pm in Cranleigh Arts Centre. We also have a website with full information at SolarStreets.co.uk/Cranleigh-and-Ewhurst and you can book to join the Zoom Launch, Presentation and Q&A session, on 3rd May at 7 pm – go to https://tinyurl.com/CE-SolarStreets.

Installing solar photo-voltaic (PV) panels on our roofs, both homes and businesses, is a really positive thing to do, especially if the panels are combined with a battery so you can use as much of your solar output as possible by storing the power to use later when it gets dark, or if you’re out all day.  Even if you have to take out a home improvement loan to pay for the installation, the economics still add up.

I’ve just checked on MoneySupermarket today (14/03/22) to see what is the cheapest rate I can get if I need to change supplier or I’m coming to the end of my fixed contract, and the cheapest is a staggering 55.52p per unit from Scottish Power – I am currently half-way through a 1 year fixed price deal at 16p per unit – I’m not looking forward to the price hike at the end of this.  

Two things have happened with Solar PV in the past few years – it is much cheaper to install, and the panels produce a higher output from the same size panel – this means smaller roofs can now have a reasonable system installed.  However, with fuel price increases and more import costs, the prices for panels are starting to increase again.

If you ask for a free quote from IDDEA, you will never be pressured into making a decision –IDDEA will give you a comprehensive quote and explain everything to you – you can then take your time to think about it and get at least one other quote to compare it to, just make sure you compare like for like.

See you at Cranleigh Eco Festival!

Authors: Cat Noble, The Green Group (UK) Ltd and Alice Breeveld, Cranleigh Climate Action Group.

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