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Over 1000 residents register for Reading solar panel scheme

More schemes planned after over 1000 Reading residents register for solar panel group auction

Last year, Green councillors Doug Cresswell (Katesgrove) and Dave McElroy (Redlands) campaigned for the council to run a group solar panel buying scheme – giving a discount for residents on the cost of installing solar panels. This has now become reality, with an amazing 1051 residents registered for the scheme.

Councillor Dave McElroy asked a formal question at a council meeting asking for the council to get involved with this initiative, and Councillor Doug Cresswell wrote to Reading Council and Solar Together urging them to work together on a solar panel group buying scheme.

Cllr McElroy says, “With the cost-of-living crisis solar panels are one way for people to save on their electricity bills. They also reduce carbon emissions and help tackle the climate crisis. Having campaigned for such a scheme last year, I am glad to see the council has got involved. Greens will keep campaigning for a fairer, greener and cleaner town.”

The way the scheme works is:

  1. Interested residents register for the scheme (which has been promoted locally by Reading Council (https://www.reading.gov.uk/housing/solar-together/)).
  2. An auction is held with installers bidding to win the work.
  3. The winning installer offers the residents a personalised scheme including the reduced price quotation.
  4. Residents then each decide whether to go ahead or not. A deposit is paid if they want to go ahead.
  5. Solar panels are installed on your home at a reduced price.
  6. You save money on your electricity bill.

The cost to each household is reduced because the installer will carry out the work as a large group of jobs. Solar Together is a company which allows residents to access solar photovoltaic panels (which generate electricity) and storage batteries at a reduced price, with over 10% of domestic installations in 2022 coming through this company.

Solar panels installed as part of a different scheme at St Stephen’s Court on Rupert Street.

One auction has already been run in Reading with 1051 residents registering. More group auctions are being planned for the future, and you can register your interest here; so far 239 residents have progressed to paying the deposit and more are paying every day.