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.

A scheme called Solar Together Wiltshire gave Swindon residents the opportunity to come together to invest in renewable energy through a group-buying scheme for solar panels and battery storage. The initiative 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 could register fot the scheme along with small and medium-sized enterprises (non-domestic) and Commonhold Associations meeting this requirement. 

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.

How does it work?

  1. Registration: Residents could register before 14 June for free, and without obligation at solartogether.co.uk/swindon
  2. Auction: An ‘auction’ was held on 14 June, where iChoosr’s pre-vetted solar installers submitted bids for the work
  3. Personal recommendation: From 11 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. 
  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 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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