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Pioneering project expected to save over half a million kilos of carbon emissions over the next three years

Pioneering project expected to save over half a million kilos of carbon emissions over the next three years

We are launching an innovative renewable energy pilot in Nelson and Colne which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of our homes, save our tenants money on their bills and demonstrate the commercial return of investing in green energy.

The £2 million project, jointly funded by European Regional Development Fund and Together Housing, will see the installation of solar panels on 250 homes. The panels will be complemented by battery storage units, which will enable most of the power generated by the panels to be used in the property during the day and night.

The project is expected to save each household up to £300 a year on their electricity bills and reduce their electricity based carbon emissions by 70-80%, an equivalent of 845kg per house per year, that’s a total of 633,600kg over the lifetime of the three year pilot.

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.”

In return for free installation of the system and free electricity, residents will have a device fitted to their homes which will remotely capture data which can be used to assess the feasibility of the pilot, with the long-term aim of rolling it out to other Together Housing properties across Lancashire and Yorkshire.

During the three year pilot, Together Housing will assess the financial viability of rolling the project out. It is, however, expected that around 20% of the electricity generated will be surplus, which can eventually be sold directly to energy suppliers.

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.”

It is hoped that the data collected during the pilot will underpin the business case for future investment. Together Housing Association will share their findings with the sector to allow other social landlords and local authorities to repeat and develop the model, stimulating the market and driving the low carbon economy forward in line with the Government’s ambition.

The work will start in May and is expected to take around four months to complete.


European Regional Development Fund

The project is receiving up to £982,127 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.  The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.  For more information visit

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Related to: Colne, Lancashire.

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