Calne Community Solar PV Buying Scheme

Sustainable Calne has modelled its scheme on the excellent work undertaken by Zero Chippenham to devise and maintain a scheme where residents of Chippenham and Calne and the surrounding villages can buy Solar PV better, and where residents of SN11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 are all welcome to participate. See below how to get access to cheaper solar panels for your home.

How the Solar PV Buying Scheme works

Zero Chippenham identified recommended solar panel installers (in this information page supplier and installer mean the same thing) who they believe provide competitive prices, good quality product and high quality installation. Residents of Chippenham, the surrounding villages, Calne and Corsham are able to contact the scheme and confirm their postcode area is within SN11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 (the postcodes currently participating in the Solar PV Buying Scheme).

The scheme is open ended which means you can apply at any time.

How to apply

Calne area post-coded residents (SN11) can apply via the Sustainable Calne team by completing our online Application Form.

If just want to ask us questions about the scheme before applying go to our contact form.

The page contains an online questionnaire asking for some key information about your home relevant to Solar PV installations which will help us and the suppliers to efficiently manage your enquiry. When we receive the completed questionnaire from you we will forward it to the scheme suppliers, and copy to Zero Chippenham to enable them to monitor the scheme’s success. In turn the suppliers will contact you to make an appointment to visit and discuss your specific requirements.

When you go through the scheme you will receive expert advice and a no obligation quote which you will receive directly from the supplier. The supplier/installation company will be the company you place an order with and who you pay to do the work.

We always recommend you seek independent financial or legal advice as is your right before signing any contract or order.

Once your installation is complete we would love to hear from you about your experience with the scheme. If you also agree to being a case study, this would help us to promote the scheme.

What are the outcomes we are hoping for?

Many people will not have purchased solar before and we hope to have delivered a scheme which has taken some of the pain out of selecting installers for our community. Zero Chippenham have ensured the installers can provide evidence of insurances, safety and quality accreditation. Installers are Microgeneration Scheme certified and are bound by the RECC consumer code.

Our area will achieve more uptake of Solar PV which will reduce our carbon emissions and help us hit our 2030 Zero Carbon Target.

Working with the local renewable energy suppliers will help us develop experience to develop future schemes which will cover other technology, bigger commercial installations and importantly find solutions to help those not able to buy their own solar to get it as well.

How does Photovoltaic Solar work?

Sun shines on panels which are made of silicon which creates an electrochemical reaction and generates DC electricity. DC electricity is carried via cables to an inverter which converts it to AC electricity (which you use in a house normally).

The AC power is fed into your consumer unit/electricity panel. If you are using power and it is generating you will use your solar power first. If you don’t use all the power it goes to the grid, and when it’s not generating you will draw from the grid as normal.

How to get the most from your solar?

Your behaviour

How and when you use your power will determine how much you save:

  • Use appliances when the sun is out (e.g. plan your washing machine, immersion heater use)

Export schemes

Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) is a Government scheme launched in January 2020 intended to give you a way to sell your exported power onto the National Grid (power that you don’t use) to your electricity company.

Read more about the Smart Export Guarantee.

Additional technology

Additional technology can help:

  • Smart meters will show you how much your power is costing you and which appliances are the most expensive to use
  • Immersion heater devices linked to solar will heat your hot water when the sun is out
  • Battery storage – still expensive, but can also help you use more power from your solar.

Related events

See video and pictures from our launch event on 5 September 2020

See recording of our launch webinar on 22 September 2020