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London expands affordable solar panel scheme

The plan to make the capital a zero-carbon city by 2050 will provide affordable solar panels to residents and businesses, after 4,000 signed up to the first phase.

Londoners and businesses in 12 boroughs will be able to buy high-quality, affordable solar panels, as the Mayor Sadiq Khan expands his Solar Together scheme to help make London a zero-carbon city by 2050.

Following a successful first phase earlier this year, eight further councils have signed up to the Mayor’s Solar Together scheme. From today residents and small businesses can register to buy high-quality panels to generate their own renewable energy, using a group-buying model to unlock significant savings from suppliers.

Camden, Haringey, Havering, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Newham, Waltham Forest and Westminster will join Brent, Ealing, Merton and Sutton – which took part in the first phase – in enabling residents and businesses to buy the panels at reduced costs. Group-buying expert iChoosr, who helped deliver the scheme earlier this year, will also administer this second phase.

After Londoners have registered for Solar Together, a group of pre-approved solar panel suppliers bid in a reverse auction (where prices are driven down by competition between suppliers) to provide panels to interested residents and businesses.

There were nearly 4,000 registrations for the first phase, with more than 1,100 accepting the offer of more affordable solar panels. The winning company in the first phase of the scheme was SolarCentury (together with Ikea), which offered an average saving of 35 per cent on the cost of solar installations. Installations of the panels have already started in some areas.

Solar energy is an increasingly low-cost source of renewable energy and the Mayor is pushing ahead with efforts to ensure more Londoners and businesses can take advantage of improvements in this technology.

The expdanded scheme was announced with the publication of Khan’s Solar Action Plan, which outlines his ambition for more of London’s energy to be generated by solar technology. It is estimated that schemes like Solar Together could more than double London’s current solar energy capacity.

Transport for London are also working to expand their solar power usage by installing energy efficiency measures across a variety of TfL owned buildings including bus stations and office buildings, in a new £4.5m refurbishment project.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Solar offers an increasingly low-cost source of energy for Londoners and we need to speed up its roll out across the capital. City Hall are doing all we can through our new Solar Action Plan but more needs to be done at a national level.

“The Government urgently needs to outline the future form of financial support for solar and how it intends to seize the opportunity to provide low-cost, reliable and clean power.”

Londoners can sign up to Solar Together here.

Read Sadiq Khan’s Solar Action Plan in full here.

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