Mears has secured a partnership with South Cambridgeshire District Council to install solar PV panel systems across the council’s housing stock, under the new ‘South Cambs Solar Savers’ initiative.

This innovative programme will see residents benefit from ‘free’ electricity during the daylight hours, while the council will receive a significant income in return for a ‘roof-lease’ via Mears.

Mears has secured the required funding to enable this project, engaging with investor partners in order to provide finance from the export of electricity back to the National Grid via the Feed-in Tariff.

Initially 1,000 homes will benefit, with potential for a further 3,000 homes to receive a Solar PV install. The scheme will run for 3 years, with an option to extend by 1 year to enable as many local installations as possible. It is estimated that the first 1,000 installations could save more than 23,000 tonnes of carbon over 20 years – the equivalent of the average car travelling over 58 million miles!

Matt Lucas, Mears Energy Director, said: “We are delighted to work in partnership with South Cambridgeshire District Council on this exciting project.”

“This scheme will help residents benefit from the electricity generated by the solar panels on their homes and also help to reduce their energy bills as a result. Together we look forward to making a real difference to local residents’ lives whilst also helping to reduce the communities’ carbon emissions.”

Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Tenants will immediately see the benefits of free electricity during the day while also improving the district’s supply of clean, renewable energy.”

“We are committed to encouraging low carbon and sustainable living in the district and offer support to homeowners and those in the private rented sector as well as council tenants. I hope this scheme may encourage them to look into the possibilities and help available to improve their homes too.”