Chippenham Community Solar PV Buying Scheme

Zero Chippenham team members have been working hard to develop a scheme where residents of Chippenham and the surrounding villages can buy Solar PV better. We have now launched the scheme and residents of SN11,12,13,14 and 15 are all welcome to participate. We have also now added a case study from one of our local Chippenham residents who has recently used the scheme and installed Solar PV which you can see here. Read on further to see how to get access to cheaper solar panels for your home.

PLEASE NOTE: The Solar Installers who are part of the scheme are now able to offer Covid risk assessment based surveys and installations based on government safety guidelines. If you are interested in buying Solar PV for your home via the scheme please get in touch via our normal route and feel free to ask for a Covid based risk assessment from the installers prior to undertaking any site visits. Please remember you will be contracting with the installers directly and as such they must provide you with all safety information you need prior to commencing any physical contact of any kind in order for you to make your own judgement whether to proceed.

How the Solar PV Buying Scheme works

Zero Chippenham have identified two recommended suppliers who can provide great value (discounted prices), good quality product and good quality installation.

Residents of Chippenham, the surrounding villages, Calne and Corsham are able to contact the scheme and confirm their postcode area is within SN11,12,13,14 or 15 (these are the postcodes currently participating in the solar pv buying scheme.

The scheme is open ended which means you can apply at any time.

To apply you need to contact the Zero Chippenham team via our website contact page or via email to Zerochippenham@gmail.com.

When you apply will record your interest and send you an email explaining what to do next and also the contact details for the installation companies which are involved. We will also send your details to our installers to contact you. There will be a word document form to fill in which you can send to your chosen scheme installer which will help them efficiently manage your enquiry.

When you go through the scheme you will receive expert advice and a no obligation quote which you will receive from the installer. The installation company will be the company you place an order with and who you pay to do the work. We recommend you seek independent financial or legal advice as is your right before signing any contract or order.

Once your install is complete we would love to hear from you about the scheme and also to ask if you would become a case study we can help to promote the scheme.

How does the discount work?

We have interviewed 7 local installers who cover the Wiltshire area, all were asked to quote and we then shortlisted 3 based on a comparison of their prices, accreditation, track record and advice given. The remaining three were asked to provide prices that reflect being a supplier to the scheme. Their prices showed discounts ranging between 10% and 20% depending on the size and the selection of product used.

As you can appreciate, every house is different and so being able to offer a like for like comparison and be precise on the discounts possible is not a perfect process, which is why we quote a range of up to 20%. We appreciate you may wish to find prices from the local area to compare to the scheme as is your right. We will be conducting reviews with the installers to ensure we are listening to all feedback from residents and the installers and will make adjustments if there are changes required.

What are the outcomes we are hoping for?

People who are able to buy solar PV can buy it cheaper and get a better return on their investment.

Many people will not have purchased solar before and we hope to have created a scheme which has taken some of the pain out of selecting installers for our community. We have ensured the installers can provide evidence of insurances, safety and quality accreditation. Both installers are Microgeneration Scheme certified and are bound by the RECC consumer code.

Our area will achieve more uptake of Solar PV which will reduce our carbon emissions and help us hit our 2030 Zero Carbon Target.

Working with the local renewable energy suppliers will help us develop experience to develop our future schemes which will cover other technology, bigger commercial installations and importantly find solutions to help those not able to buy their own solar to get it as well.

How does Photovoltaic Solar work?

Sun shines on panels which are made of silicon which creates an electrochemical reaction and generates DC electricity. DC electricity is carried via cables to an inverter which converts is to AC electricity (which you use in a house normally).

The AC power is fed into your consumer unit/electricity panel. If you are using power and it is generating you will use your solar power first. If you don’t use all the power it goes to the grid and when its generating you will draw from the grid as normal

How to get the most from your solar?

Your behaviour – How and when you use your power will save you money E.g. Use appliances when the sun is out

Additional technology can help: Smart meters will show you how much your power is costing you and which appliances are the most expensive to use; Immersion heater devices linked to solar will heat your hot water when the sun is out and Battery storage – still expensive, but can also help you use more power from your solar.

The Smart Export Guarantee is a Government scheme and is now live and available via electricity suppliers