Lighting up the Benefits of PV Installations
In the past few months, we’ve seen a resurgence in interest in photovoltaics (PV) among our Registered Provider (RP) members. As PV is once again recognised as a viable solution to the UK’s fuel poverty issues, RPs are searching for the best approach to the system for their homes and tenants.
We think the benefits of PV for RPs are vast. First and foremost, installing PV can reduce a resident’s bills by up to £150 per year. Providers can also receive money from the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff (FIT), which is awarded to organisations that generate their own electricity.
Alongside this, installations can be refinanced, helping RPs to produce additional funds which can then be re-invested in other projects.
With the cost of system installation plummeting, PV is more affordable and attractive than ever, making it a sustainable solution to fuel poverty. But which method of installation is the ‘right’ one?
A standard method
A common approach to funding is the ‘rent-a-roof’ model, which involves a third party paying for the installation of a PV system on an RP’s housing stock. Residents still receive free electricity, but the funder receives the rights to the equipment or the FIT payments, limiting the reinvestment opportunities.
In addition, often the installation equipment contracts are often awarded to national firms limiting the benefits to local businesses.
What’s the alternative?
The Procure Plus team has been working alongside our colleagues at Re:allies, of which we’re a founding member, to research the funded PV market place and create alternative solutions. We’ve looked into investment tools which offer added value to our customers and their surrounding communities, as well as allowing their residents to profit.
There are several examples of alternative solutions, with one model provided by a social enterprise that our team has been working with closely. We’ve been supporting the enterprise to roll out its scheme via our frameworks, which are structured to encourage companies of all sizes to tender. This system is designed to generate financial returns for members, which can be reinvested in their communities. For example, a scheme of 2,000 installations generates five megawatts of energy, and would return £2.25 million to our members in FIT payments, as well as £2.25 million to be spent on energy efficiency in the their community.
Making an informed decision
Each RP is different, and so the choice of approach must depend on individual needs. Through an understanding of all the options open to them, our members can select the best solution, and ensure they’re harnessing the power of PV.