Image: Ell Brown.

Solarplicity has claimed its new solar initiative could save social housing tenants £200 million a year if they sign up to free LEDs, a smart meter and having solar PV installed where viable.

Solar Power Portal reported earlier this month that the company was preparing a low-subsidy residential solar model aimed at social housing, claiming individual tenants could save £240 a year on average on their energy bills.

In today’s formal launch, Solarplicity explained that having secured funding from European investor Maas Capital, a subsidiary of ABN AMRO Bank, it will partner with social housing providers to create a Community Energy Scheme providing the energy saving solutions.

In addition, the company will offer ‘simply lower energy bills’ using a 100% renewable energy tariff following its acquisition of independent supply firm Lo CO2 Energy last month. Only one rate will be applied, with no standard charges irrespective of the payment method used.

The initiative is the result of a detailed procurement process between Solarplicity and Alliance Homes, a social housing provider active in procurement activities for the social sector. The framework agreement enables more than 40 social landlords and 500,000 households to participate.

It is expected that the scheme will reach 50,000 households in the next twelve months and 800,000 homes within five years, at which stage these tenants are forecast to save up to £200 million a year through the scheme.

David Elbourne, chief executive of Solarplicity, said: “This ground-breaking scheme is set to transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of UK households that currently suffer from fuel poverty. At the same time, it is a major opportunity for landlords to achieve their efficiency targets and provide a point of difference for tenants. It is truly game changing for solar.”

“We are continually looking to futureproof our housing stock and provide exceptional service for our landlords. This initiative will provide both those things.  We are enormously excited by the proposal for clear, lower energy bills with long-term discounts funded through the deployment of renewable energy,” added Steve Drew, managing director of Alliance Homes.

Social housing is a competitive area for large scale domestic solar deployment, with the likes of Lightsource, E.On, North Star Solar and more all vying to develop attractive models for the sector.