Solar partnership scheme celebrates reducing carbon emissions in Devon
21 February 2022
More than 500 Devon homeowners can now look forward to reducing their carbon footprint and fuel bills after installing solar panels as part of Devon Climate Emergency’s (DCE) group-buying scheme.
The scheme, Devon Solar Together, which has now concluded, invited homeowners across the county to ‘club’ together to enable them to buy high-quality solar panels at a lower price than they would have otherwise been able to obtain.
Now in total, almost 7,000 panels have been installed across the 535 homes, with a total installed capacity of 2065kW - equivalent to a small solar farm.
In a year it will reduce carbon emissions in Devon equivalent to taking more than 135 cars, each driving 10,000 miles, off of the road.
In North Devon, there have been 38 installations, with an installed capacity of 126kW, equivalent to taking 8 cars off the road.
‘Devon Solar Together’ was introduced by DCE, which includes local authorities and iChoosr, who specialise in group-buying schemes.
The DCE is currently in the final stages of drafting a Carbon Plan, the county’s roadmap to net-zero and Devon Solar Together is the latest example of a scheme to help residents reduce their carbon footprint.
Research by the University of Exeter shows that a fifth of all Devon’s carbon emissions are created by our homes, with more than half of those by grid-supplied electricity. Installing solar panels will reduce the amount of grid-supplied electricity needed for things like hot water.
Lead Member for Climate Change at North Devon Council, Councillor Graham Lofthouse, says: "We are delighted to have worked alongside the Devon Solar Together partnership to deliver this brilliant, group-buying scheme.
"I am incredibly proud of the North Devon district, for taking the pledge to become greener, by participating in this innovative scheme. 8 cars off the road is a brilliant start to tackling the climate change emergency. I really believe if we continuing acting and working together, as a community, we will have a brighter, greener future ahead of us."
Chairman of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group, CERG, Dr Phil Norrey, says: “All of Devon’s councils have committed to ensuring that Devon is net-zero by 2050 at the very latest and this means that changes will have to be made at all levels, by everyone and every organisation.
“We will all have to take responsibility for our own carbon footprints, work together as a community and make the most of the opportunities that new technologies offer us in areas including generating electricity sustainably.
“Devon Solar together is an example of that – if just 500 homes with solar panels in a single year can reduce emissions equivalent to taking 135 cars off of the road, the difference thousands of homes fitted with solar panels across the county over 20 years could make is significant.
“By investing in a solar PV system these householders have become part of the solution – and their installations will continue to help reduce emissions and save them money for at least the next two decades.”
The scheme’s partners were East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge and Torridge District Councils, West Devon Borough Council, Exeter City Council and Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park Authorities and Devon County Council.