Hastings Borough Council (HBC) has been supporting a scheme aimed at aiding homeowners to get solar panels installed on their roofs. The scheme, branded as Solar Together, opened on 1st September and closes today (Tuesday).  

It involves homeowners registering their interest (without charge), and providing details of roof size and orientation, at a central hub which is administered by group-buying firm iChoosr acting in conjunction with a number of local councils. Accredited installers will then bid for the work. The intention is to secure significant costs savings by economies of scale and competitive bidding.

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Not all registered properties will be suitable for panels but, for each assessed as viable, the owner will receive a personal recommendation outlining the cost and return on investment. There is then no obligation to go ahead with an installation; but, for those who do, HBC promises a “high quality” system that will cut their carbon emissions and at the same time save them money on their energy bills.

The bidding ‘auction’ will take place as soon as registrations have closed. Recommendations will be sent out during the course of this month, and homeowners will have until mid-December to decide whether to accept or decline. It is anticipated that installations will start in December and be completed by May 2021.

According to the Solar Together website, over 24,000 registrations have been filed (with one day to go). However the scheme has been backed by a large number of councils across the country, and HBC has been unable to confirm how many relate to properties within Hastings.

Homeowners who have missed today’s deadline will be informed of subsequent auctions in their area. According to HBC, the next is likely to take place in spring 2021.

Cllr Maya Evans, lead councillor for Natural Environment and Leisure, said: “At Hastings Borough Council we are dedicated to tackling climate change and aim to make Hastings carbon neutral by 2030, so we are excited to be supporting a scheme which can help us achieve this goal.

“By installing solar panels and therefore generating zero carbon electricity at home, the average household could reduce their annual carbon footprint by approximately one tonne each year.”

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