Cannock Chase Council in partnership with Chase Community Solar and Beat the Cold have been successful in securing over £250,000 to deliver a Smart Solar project in the District.
The project will see 75 batteries installed in council owned bungalows across the District, which have existing solar panels, which were installed by Chase Community Solar in 2015.
This follows a report which showed that tenants were only using 25% of the energy produced by the panels, so approximately 75% of the energy produced was going back to the grid. The battery storage installation will enable the tenant to store more of the energy produced, reducing energy bills and reducing fuel poverty.
Chase Community Solar are a community benefit society who obtained over £1,000,000 of funding to install over 300 solar panels on council owned bungalows across the Cannock Chase District in 2015. Its aim was to reduce fuel poverty and carbon dioxide emissions.
Beat the Cold are a leading fuel poverty charity operative in Staffordshire who offer specialist advice to anyone in need. Beat the Cold share their expertise on engaging with those who need help but are ‘hard to reach’. The service delivery aims to reduce ill health, deaths and misery suffered by vulnerable households because of fuel poverty.
Councillor Adrienne Fitzgerald, Portfolio Leader for Housing, Heritage & Leisure, said “I am delighted that Chase Community Solar and Beat the Cold have secured this funding. This means that 75 of our housing tenants will have the opportunity to store the energy that they are producing to use it when they need it instead of it going back to the grid. This initiative will help to reduce the carbon footprint of our housing stock and contribute to the Council commitment to become carbon neutral by 2030.”
Mike Kinghan, Chair of Chase Community Solar said: “Chase Community Solar is very pleased to be able to offer 75 tenants with solar PV the opportunity to have batteries installed with this grant. This will enable them to store solar power that would otherwise simply go into the grid so they can use it when they need it and save money.”
Martin Peake from Beat the Cold said: "We are really excited to be working on such an innovative project. Renewable energy and storage is going to be a big part of the countries push to net zero, and we want to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to be part of that revolution. What we learn here will support others for years to come. This is a fantastic opportunity for these residents.”
Alongside these battery installations, an experienced team at Beat the Cold will deliver tailored energy advice and education with regard to energy efficiency and energy tariffs; to optimise the impact of battery storage installation and to provide tenants with confidence and increase energy understanding.
Council tenants that have the Chase Community Solar panels will receive a letter in the next couple of weeks with more information and how they can apply to be part of this project. There is limited availability as currently there is only funding for 75 batteries, and we have 314 properties across the District with the panels.