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Energy co-op sets up buyers’ club for household solar panels

Greenwich households are being given the chance to cash in on cheap solar power through a new buyers’ club set up by two member organisations of Co-operatives UK.

The not-for-profit project aims to bring households together to use their collective purchasing power to reduce the cost of buying and installing solar panels on their homes. The project is being launched by South East London Community Energy (SELCE) on Monday 19 March.

It has already raised almost £400,000 to install solar arrays on seven local primary schools, and now wants to help Greenwich residents ‘go solar’ as well.

And – as a good example of Principle 6, co-operation among co-operatives, in action – SELCE is working on the launch with Community Renewable Energy Wandsworth (CREW). It is hoped that by teaming up with households in other parts of London, even bigger savings can be made.

“The more people who club together, the lower the cost,” said Ebube Modebelu of SELCE, who is managing the project.

“Many people like the idea of installing solar panels on their roof but the costs and complexity can be off-putting,” he added. “Our new buyers’ club will not only bring down the costs of the whole process but it’s also supported by quality installers.”

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He added: “The more people who club together, the lower the cost. Buyers’ club participants will also benefit from government subsidies that are provided for small-scale solar generators.

“The more solar energy we can generate as a community, the less we depend on climate-changing fossil fuels. What’s more, £100 from each installation will go towards supporting SELCE’s not-for-profit project to help low-income households who are being forced to make the choice between heating and eating.”

So far, SELCE’s pop-up energy advice cafes have provided advice and support to more than 1,200 local people. The Buyer’s Club event is taking place on Monday 19 March, from 7pm to 9pm at Mycenae House, 90 Mycenae Road, London, SE3 7SE.

To book a site survey to assess the suitability of your roof for solar power, email Ebube Modebelu before 19 March.

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