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Ascham Homes to embark on London's largest social housing solar scheme

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Ascham Homes to embark on London's largest social housing solar scheme

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Environment

Ascham Homes to embark on London's largest social housing solar scheme Ascham Homes to embark on London's largest social housing solar scheme

Ascham Homes is set to embark on London's largest social housing solar installation scheme.

One thousand Waltham Forest Council tenants will save up to £140 per year on their energy bills through the project, which is set to be completed by March. The scheme is the result of an innovative partnership agreement between Ascham Homes and Waltham Forest Council.

Ascham Homes’ has appointed John Rowan & Partners as project managers with contractors Apollo and Breyer Plc. The contracts include the provision of 20-year warranties on the equipment, an innovation that passes the risk of any future costs for equipment failure to the installers and manufacturers.

Tenants in homes with the solar PV scheme installed can use the electricity being generated from their system for
free, in addition to the council being paid by one of the electricity providers for all of the electricity produced.

This will enable the initial cost of the installation works, approximately £7,000 per home to be repaid over the life of the scheme.

The homes which will have solar panels installed are those that have a suitable south facing roof, which is a requirement in order to generate sufficient electricity from the panels. The agreement of individual tenants is being obtained prior to the works commencing.

Ascham Homes will act as the Council’s agent for the management and maintenance of the solar scheme over its 25 year life, ensuring that electricity payments are received, monitoring the scheme, commissioning any repairs and ensuring that the business plan is operated effectively.

David Barrett, head of retrofit at John Rowan & Partners, said: “With many of the issues surrounding the Green Deal still up in the air, it is great to see projects like this moving forward.

"Not only will this improve the carbon footprint of the existing housing stock, but it will also deliver significant benefits to the residents involved.

"While the focus is to complete the 1,000 home installations to gain a year’s higher rate on the Feed In Tariff, a matter that will be determined on the 9th February with the outcome of DECC’s appeal, I would also hope that it also acts as encouragement to other affordable housing providers to show them that projects like this are commercially viable.

"I for one are convinced that going forward PV panels will be part of the solution for affordable housing to deliver their obligations under the Climate Change Act.   
   
“The project has been undertaken with a partnering approach, showing how lessons learned from large scale Decent Homes projects can make this project achievable in the tight timescales.”
 
Paul Lowenberg, Chair of Ascham Homes, added:  “We are delighted to have entered into this partnership agreement with the council. It is designed to achieve three key objectives:

  • First it will assist approximately 10% of our tenants by reducing their electricity bills by 25 to 50%.
  • Second it will reduce the carbon dioxide emitted in producing electricity for these homes by approximately 1200 Tons of CO2. This is like taking 500 cars off our roads. 
  • Third, we hope over the 25 year life of the scheme it will achieve a savings of £1 to £2 million through the price of the electricity being sold back to the grid, which will enable other regeneration works to be undertaken in the Borough."

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