Solar scheme secures savings against the odds!13 December 2011
Five months into five weeks doesn't add up on any calculator.
But that's what Nottingham City Homes (NCH) has just done with its photovoltaic (PV) solar panel scheme, funded by Nottingham City Council.
Now 1,333 tenants across the city can benefit from cheaper electricity as we defied the odds to complete the scheme before today's Government deadline.
We had just started fitting PV solar panels, and were originally due to finish by 31st March 2012, when the Government dropped a bombshell on 31st October 2011. They said they would cut the money you can earn per panel by more by half - over three months earlier than expected.
This meant we were in a race against time to do as much as we could by 12th Decembe. Any PV panels fitted after the deadline would be affected by the cut.
Our three contractors, Keepmoat, Kier and Wates, agreed to meet the challenge we set them at the start of November. Their fitters have been collectively fitting up to 80 PV installations a day - at one point completing an installation every six minutes!
Nick Murphy, Chief Executive of Nottingham City Homes, said: "Completing this PV solar panel scheme has been a real feat and I could not be prouder of all the teams involved in making this happen. Our contractors have done a fantastic job and local suppliers such as scaffolders, electricians and roofing companies, have bent over backwards to make this possible."
Once a panel is installed, that's not the end of the process. To make sure you benefit from the higher Feed in Tariff, you have to register the panels and make sure they have a certificate. This has meant staff in Nottingham City Homes' Asset Management team and the contractors offices have been busy registering each installation. In fact they went right up to the last minute, finishing their last certificates just before midnight last night (11th December).
The rush to fit the PV was to ensure that the panels generate as much income as possible for Nottingham City Council to reinvest in the entire housing stock over the next 30 years.
Alan Clark, Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability at Nottingham City Council, added: "This has been a real team effort. Everyone in the Asset Management team at NCH has had a part to play, and the contractors were just as committed to doing a quality job in such a short space of time.
"The council has always been committed to making this scheme work, not only for the benefit to tenants, but for the huge impact on local jobs and benefit to local businesses. Now we can get the maximum revenue from the panels to help us reinvest in the entire housing stock over the next 30 years."