Solar Together

Buying solar panels and battery storage made easy

With the rising costs of living, many of us are looking for ways to reduce our bills and use energy more efficiently to reduce our carbon footprint. Having your own solar panels and battery storage to power your home with clean energy can be a smart investment.

Swindon residents have the opportunity to come together to invest in renewable energy through a group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage. Called Solar Together Wiltshire, it is a partnership involving Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council and independent experts in group-buying, iChoosr Ltd.

The bargaining power created by coming together as a group is the core principle behind Solar Together. This enhanced buying power allows the scheme to offer more competitive pricing than individual homeowners might get if entering the market alone.

All Swindon residents (and in wider Wiltshire) who own their own house, or have permission from the landlord to install solar panels, have until 14 June to register for the scheme. Small and medium-sized enterprises (non-domestic) and Commonhold Associations meeting this requirement can participate as well.

It is free to register, without any obligation to continue. The scheme offers solar panels with optional battery storage and electric vehicle charge points, as well as retrofit battery storage for residents who have already invested in solar panels and are looking to get more from the renewable energy they generate as well as increase their independence from the grid.

Planning permission

Installations will generally not need planning permission. However, in some cases such as in conservation areas and on listed buildings, planning permission may be required. For further information visit the planning advice page.

If you already have solar panels installed

You can still register to have battery storage added to your existing solar panels to maximise the benefits of your system. You can register your interest for free, and without obligation at solartogether.co.uk/swindon.

How does it work?

  1. Registration: You can register before 14 June for free, and without obligation at solartogether.co.uk/swindon. To register, you simply provide details about your roof, such as its size and orientation.
  2. Auction: An ‘auction’ will be held on 14 June, where iChoosr’s pre-vetted solar installers will submit bids for the work. The more people that register, the better the deal should be for each household. The installer with the most competitive package will win the auction.
  3. Personal recommendation: From 4 July, you will be emailed your personal recommendation for your home based on your registration details. This includes the costs and specification for a complete solar panel installation.
  4. You decide: The decision is then yours whether you want to accept your recommendation. There is no obligation to continue. You will have six weeks to decide and in that time, you will be invited to an online information session.
  5. Installation: If you accept, the winning installer will contact you to survey your roof and set an installation date. All installations are planned to be completed six months after you accept.

Find out more

For more information, visit solartogether.co.uk/swindon, where you can register for the scheme and get in touch with iChoosr’s helpdesk.

Telephone and email support are on-hand throughout the whole process, which, together with information sessions, will allow households to make an informed decision in a safe and hassle-free environment.

The Solar Together website features lots of information about the scheme and articles on solar power to help consider if solar panels are right for you, including:

The independent Energy Savings Trust has also produced a guide to solar panels along with a search-by-postcode tool to help estimate the energy bill savings and financial payments you could potentially receive by installing solar panels.

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