Shropshire solar panels project nominated for national award

A homes provider is shouting from the rooftops after a project including putting solar panels on properties across Shropshire was nominated for a national award.

Rooftop solar panels
Rooftop solar panels

Homes provider The Wrekin Housing Group partnered with Telford-based renewable energy and battery specialists AceOn Group and electrical distributors BEW on a scheme backed by government money to install green energy systems into 68 existing homes and a further 11 new builds.

The project has been nominated for Climate Change Retrofit Project of the Year at the Inside Housing Development Awards, recognising the innovative approach being developed to provide better insulated homes with lower carbon emissions.

It has seen the installation of solar panels, inverters and 7kWh batteries to allow the homes to capture solar energy and then store it in the most efficient and environmentally-friendly way for later use.

It’s hoped that the £1m project, funded by the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, will be the blueprint for renewable energy schemes across the country.

Overall, the project will deliver new jobs, and will lead to a 1,678,750 kWh reduction in energy consumption off the grid and a 720 tonne reduction in carbon dioxide over a 10-year period.

The project has also established a new national training programme to upskill the existing workforce and train apprentices in battery storage installation, with Telford College becoming the first college in the country to pilot and roll out the training.

David Wells, executive director of operational services for The Wrekin Housing Group, said: “This project is an excellent example of partnership working to identify and address the challenges of climate changes and rising energy costs for our tenants. I’m delighted that our innovative approach has been recognised with this nomination.

“We would also like to thank our tenants who have allowed us into their homes to install and monitor some of the latest energy-saving techniques. The project has made a huge difference to their lives – some of our tenants are saving up to 75 per cent on their monthly energy bills.

“We are monitoring the performance of the green technologies installed to inform future schemes and help identify other homes that could benefit from retrofitting.”

AceOn Group managing director Mark Thompson said: “This project has helped reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty, which is especially important in these difficult times when fuel bills are a major worry.

"We were delighted to work with Wrekin Housing Group on this project, which is providing tangible benefits for both the tenants and the environment.

“We supplied solar panels and battery systems to allow the homes to capture solar energy and then store it in the most efficient and environmentally-friendly way for later use. This means the tenants will save on their fuel bills while reducing the use of fossil fuels which would have added to the issues around climate change.

“As a Telford-based company, it is very exciting that we can partner with a major local organisation such as Wrekin Housing Group to have a positive impact on the real lives of people in the borough, while also playing a leading role in the fight against the effects of climate change.”

Mandy Thorn MBE, who chairs Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is a great example of what can be achieved when community organisations and the private sector work together to make the best use of precious government funds. This project will make a real difference to tenants who might otherwise have been facing fuel poverty this coming winter, while contributing to our ongoing need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London in September.

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