Image: Community Energy Scheme.

The Community Energy Scheme has given its members a payment break for April, May and June, saving them over £200,000 in energy costs.

This will help its 4,500 community energy scheme members to get through the current uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

The scheme was set up in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council with the aim of providing solar and battery storage solutions to 6,500 local residents, of which 4,500 have solar.

Participants have solar installed on their rooftops, which is owned and operated by the Community Energy Scheme. The power these generate is then bought by the residents at a preferential rate, which is guaranteed to always be cheaper than grid.

Tim Day, head of the Community Energy Scheme said that during these uncertain times, the group's commitment to the local community continues.

“The Community Energy Scheme is doing more than just helping members save money on their energy bills with fully funded solar and battery systems – our team in Stoke-on-Trent are supporting the vulnerable. Whether it’s picking up shopping and urgent supplies, posting mail, or simply a friendly phone call, we are there.

“During these challenging times, we can strengthen our community by supporting each other. That’s why all 4,500 existing members will not be charged for the solar energy they use in their homes for April, May and June which is a saving of over £200,000 for the community. A big thank you to all of the team for making this possible.”

He added that following the end of the lockdown the scheme would continue its installation program.

Around the UK, community energy projects have been working to help support people through this pandemic. Community for Renewables announced that its members had raised £100,000 from surplus generation of community-owned solar projects for Corona Crisis Funds.

Elsewhere, Ferry Farm Community Solar has completed a £5.5 million transaction to bring a solar array into full community ownership, highlighting the strength of community energy at this time.

Additionally, to help community energy projects during this challenging time, organisations have been given a six month extension to complete and register feed-in tariff projects.