Outlook is sunny for local tenants

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Europe’s largest crowd-sourcing solar energy project, ‘Oakapple Berwickshire’, should reduce housing association tenants’ energy bills by 30%.

It involves 749 roof mounted solar panels, worth £3 million, being put on Berwickshire Housing Association premises across the county, including Duns, Eyemouth and Coldstream; and members of the public investing in the project for as little as £5, for an expected return of 7.5% over a 20 year period.

Berwickshire Housing Association tenants living in the homes on which the solar panels are installed should enjoy a substantial drop in their energy bills – up to as much as a 30% reduction – without having to pay anything towards the project.

Investment in the project will be through Abundance which focuses on ethical investment who describe the concept as “Win Win solutions where investors (even those with only modest amounts to invest) can put their money into something that gives them a very attractive return, whilst also doing good.

“In this latest project, that ‘good’ is both contributing to the UK’s renewable energy

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development and giving Berwickshire Housing Association tenants a big reduction in their energy bills. On top of that, the £3 million project will be creating and supporting jobs in the UK’s real economy, and is great news for the two UK-based companies behind the build.”

Bruce Davis, project co-founder, said, “This is a perfect opportunity for savers with more than £1 trillion earning virtually nothing in cash savings accounts to move some of their money to something far more worthwhile, while getting an attractive, bank-beating return at low risk.

“Recent research revealed that 62% of people in Britain want to choose where their money is going to get a return and 57% want to invest in things that give a decent return but don’t harm the planet.

“This project is offering more than £3 million of exactly that opportunity and will see the total amount invested through Abundance pass the £11 million mark.”

The ground work and solar panel installation part of ‘Oakapple Berwickshire’ will be done by Oakapple Renewable Energy and Edison Energy.

Berwickshire Housing Association has teamed up with the partners and chief executive Helen Forsyth said: “Our tenants living in these solar powered homes will enjoy a substantial drop in their energy bills, up to as much as a 30% reduction potentially saving over £100 per home a year, without having to pay anything towards the project.

“We’re determined to do what we can to address fuel poverty and working with Abundance investors is a fantastic way to tackle the problem.”