Together Energy

Solar Battery Project
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A £2 million project, jointly funded by European Regional Development Fund and Together Housing, aims to reduce the carbon footprint of Together Housing’s properties, save tenants money on their bills and demonstrate the commercial return of investing in green energy.

250 Together Housing homes will be fitted with a solar PV and battery storage system to pilot how well the systems work; it is intended to cut energy bills, reduce fuel poverty and cut down on carbon emissions.

This pioneering pilot program aims to reduce the carbon footprint of Together Housing’s properties, save tenants money on their bills and demonstrate the commercial return of investing in green energy.

For our tenants
  • 250 Together Housing homes will be fitted with a solar PV and battery storage system.
  • This is a pilot project to see how well the systems work; it is intended to cut energy bills, reduce fuel poverty and cut down on carbon emissions.
  • More widely this pilot program is intended to create an investment model for future solar PV and battery storage systems across Together Housing homes, the social housing sector and beyond.
  • When the sun is shining your solar panels will provide you with electrical energy. This energy will be stored in a battery for use whenever you need it.
  • This system will be installed free of charge and the electricity it provides will be free for the remainder of your tenancy.*
  • We have found that without battery storage only 33% of solar PV generated electricity goes to the tenant to actually use, with battery storage this changes to as much as 80% of your annual usage saving you more money.
  • The electricity provided by this system could save you up to £300 a year.
  • The system is great for the environment and we estimate that a typical house in this project will save around 845 kilograms of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere; this is about 60% of the current total carbon footprint of a typical UK house’s electricity usage.
  • Power may need to be off for up to an hour while the system is transferred and scaffolding may be required for 2-3 days at the property. A technical survey will also need to be undertaken before installation.
  • Installation work will start in May and is expected to take around four months to complete.
  • The unused electricity is exported to energy providers to redistribute, Together Housing will not profit from this export in the 3 year duration of this project.
  • At a later point in the project one of our energy partners may be suggested as an energy provider in order to lower your bills even further. This provider will do this by using your battery in a more cost effective way by taking advantage of local predicted weather data and periods where energy tariffs are cheap.
  • This is a pioneering project and a real chance to help make a difference to the environment, whilst at the same time helping Together Housing to show the housing and energy sectors how renewable energy can save everybody money with real world data. Let’s save money and the environment together!

*Please note that this system will not cover all your electricity needs so not all your electricity will be free and it is your responsibility to use energy sensibly and budget appropriately. The system is expected to cover around 60% of a typical user’s annual needs.

If you have any concerns, want to learn more about this project, or other ways to save yourself money on your energy bills through this project please contact our Renewable Energy Project Officer, Robin Jones, during working hours by email or phone:

Email:    robin.jones@togetherhousing.co.uk
Mobile:  07736923813

You can also follow this project via Together Housing Group on all major social media networks; this project will have the following hashtags: #ERDF, #THG and #solarbattery

For businesses

EU project name is “Domestic Low Carbon Community Energy Solutions”

The £2 million project, jointly funded by European Regional Development Fund and Together Housing Group (THG), aims to reduce the carbon footprint of Together Housing’s properties, save tenants money on their bills and demonstrate the commercial return of investing in green energy.

This pioneering pilot program aims to reduce the carbon footprint of Together Housing’s properties, save tenants money on their bills and demonstrate the commercial return of investing in green energy.

The project will aim to install 250 solar and battery systems with solar PV at an average of 3kWp size with battery storage of approximately 5kWh. A hybrid inverter will be used and all cabling, isolators and other equipment will meet industry standards.

Patrick Berry, Managing Director of Together Energy, said: “Typically households with solar panels only use a third of the energy generated, with the surplus going to the National Grid. This is because the energy can only be generated and used during the hours of daylight, often when the house is empty.”

“The beauty of battery storage is that power generated during the day can be stored and used when it is needed, even after the sun goes down.”

Patrick added: “It is a win-win-win situation. The tenants taking part in the pilot will benefit from free electricity, helping to eliminate fuel poverty and financial exclusion.  After the pilot, we hope to be able to roll out the scheme at a larger scale by working with energy suppliers and the National Grid. The monies generated can be invested back into our homes and services. Plus, we are reducing the carbon footprint of our properties, meaning the environment benefits too.”

According to THG’s internal models the typical house with solar PV only covers 33% of generation to the resident, with this battery technology we are expecting 70-80% of generation will go to the resident.

In future projects we are looking to introduce a system where we will install solar PV and battery systems free of charge to tenants but we will charge them for the electricity they produce at a sub-market rate. This is advantageous to the tenant as they have lower energy bills and for social housing groups such as Together Housing with over 38,000 properties the potential for longer term investment and carbon reduction is huge.

Data handling is essential in this project. Energy data will be collected on each property as part of the agreement to install the systems; this data will be kept between the tenant and Together Housing. Data from the project will be made open source at some point, however this data will be anonymised before being passed on to any third parties.

After completing the tender process, Together Housing is proud to announce that we will be delivering this project through Avonside Renewables, they are an experienced company in solar PV and battery installation. They have a Tenant Liaison Officer for engaging with tenant issues and a solid plan for installation of the technology over a 4 month period.

We are currently looking to work with energy providers who provide time-of-use tariffs, these mean that electricity is more expensive at peak times but cheaper at non-peak times. However a battery in the system means that electricity can be bought when the tariff is cheap, stored in the battery and used at peak times. Data management, weather prediction, custom algorithms, smart solutions and machine learning would be very important aspects of these systems.

We are also looking at opportunities to incorporate blockchain protocols for peer to peer (p2p)  network energy trading, we are aware that the UK’s legal framework is not ideally set up for this at the moment however some p2p projects are already underway in the UK under agreed legal exemptions.

If you want to learn more about this project, its implications for energy and housing sectors, or you would like to work with us on any of our energy projects then please contact our Renewable Energy Project Officer, Robin Jones, during working hours by email or phone:

Email:    robin.jones@togetherhousing.co.uk
Mobile:  07736923813

You can also follow this project via Together Housing Group on all major social media networks; this project will have the following hashtags: #ERDF, #THG and #solarbattery

Our findings

We currently have no data returned from the project itself; it will be found in this section when it becomes available. No individual will be identifiable in any of the information provided in this section.

Whilst we have no data from the project at this stage we do have some projections based on one of our models. Assumptions and data sources are provided.

  • An average solar install size of 3kW peak is assumed.
  • PVGIS solar data is used.
  • 2017 UK government CO2 figures are used.
  • A 2017 rate of 0.35156 kg CO2e/kWh gives us 211,200 kg CO2e saved across the entire project; this is 844.8 kg CO2e on an annual per house basis.
  • Our figure for estimated annual generation (EAG) is 801 kWh/kWp installed, so total generation will be 2403 kWh on an annual per house basis.
  • Of this figure 80% is assumed to be used by the customer which is 1922.4 kWh straight to the tenant, again on an annual, per house basis.
  • At the Utilita rate of £0.14692/kWh this is equivalent to £282.44 in energy savings, again on an average, annual, per house basis. Other estimates from our models show £299.74.
  • DECC (2014) gives the average annual domestic electricity consumption as 4000 kWh so this would be a 60% reduction in CO2 if applied to the average UK home.

If you want to learn more about this project’s findings please contact our Renewable Energy Project Officer, Robin Jones, during working hours by email or phone:

Email:    robin.jones@togetherhousing.co.uk
Mobile:  07736923813

You can also follow this project via Together Housing Group on all major social media networks; this project will have the following hashtags: #ERDF, #THG and #solarbattery