At a time when the energy crisis is pushing most households towards fuel poverty, Penderi sees the UK’s first community energy sharing scheme, with renewable energy stored and shared fairly between residents. This innovative billing model allows them to receive a combination of cheaper electricity and a shared fund, used to help save money.
The 100-home milestone has set the pace for the rest of the scheme, which, once completed, will be the largest scheme of its kind in the UK, with 650 homes reducing their carbon footprint by as much as 350 tonnes per year.
The homes are owned and managed by Pobl Group, Wales’ largest provider of affordable housing, who have partnered with net zero energy technology and service supplier, Sero, and lead contractor and installation specialists, Everwarm.
Solitaire Pritchard, Director of Regeneration at Pobl Group, commented: “We’ve been able to complete these first 100 solar installations by working closely with the community and together as partners. This is just the start but the benefits are already being seen. Each installation helps decarbonise energy in Penderi and helps reduce home energy bills today and long into the future – that will make a huge practical difference to the community at a time when energy prices are soaring.”
Sherrie, a Penderi resident, said: “When I first heard about it, I wasn’t keen, but then chatting to neighbours, they were saying they were having real benefits and the way things are at the moment, with energy prices obviously, it would be dull to not have it in. “Obviously there’s the environment issue, we all worry about that. Eventually I might have grandkids who will want to live on this planet so we all want to do what we can to help the environment. If I had a message for the neighbours it’s just do it.”
James Williams, co-founder and CEO of Sero added: “We have in the last few weeks seen the highest temperatures ever recorded in Wales, and this has brought into focus more than ever why we need to be tackling the climate emergency, and reducing carbon emissions from our existing homes has a critical role to play in this. Alongside the spriralling cost of living crisis, the need for retrofit has never been greater, and that is why it is so important to be demonstrating how we can deliver innovative projects at scale, such as Penderi.”
Scott Paton, Operations Director, Everwarm, said: “This is a really exciting milestone for the project, and already we are seeing the positive impacts for both individual residents, as well as in relation to the wider community. In particular we are proud to be able to say that three members of the team that are on the ground installing this cutting-edge technology are from the Penderi community, helping increase awareness and understanding of the project, as well as the wide range of training and opportunities the growing green energy sector can offer.”
The Penderi Energy Project is supported by £3.5m EU funds from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Welsh Government and is seen as the first part of a wider investment into the Penderi area that will have a positive impact across the entire community.