Published on 18th December 2012

spiral fluorescent light bulb glowing against a dark background

A group of tenants will soon be able to enjoy some free electricity thanks to the launch of a renewable energy pilot project by Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH).

To help their tenants save money on rising energy costs, CBH has launched the ‘Brighter Future, Greener Homes’ programme and in the first week of December they had solar electric systems installed on the first of the 50 homes taking part in the pilot.  It is expected that tenants will save on average £100 on their annual energy bills.

The properties were selected based on roof life, roof space, and electrical layout.

Paul Stephenson, Chief Executive at CBH said: “We know that rising energy costs are hitting our tenants hard so we have developed this pilot to see how we can help them. It’s really exciting to see the first of the solar panels going up and we are confident that the project will prove to be successful and will offer our tenants significant savings on their energy bills.”

The technology works by linking the solar electric panels via a specialist inverter with the existing electrical supply. The household is seamlessly supplied by both electricity from the solar system and from the existing electrical supply. If there is more electricity being used within the house than the solar electric system can supply then the electricity from the solar electric system will be topped up by electricity from the normal supplier.

To maximise their savings CBH will be advising tenants on how to make the most of the electricity generated by the solar electric systems.

The pilot project, installed by G Purchase Ltd, is being monitored and if successful CBH plans to roll out installation in other suitable properties next year and beyond.

In addition to the solar electric system project, CBH is also planning to trial other energy saving systems in homes not suitable for PV panels. Voltage control/optimisation systems will be installed and tested in a small number of homes. Trials elsewhere have shown savings on electricity bills of around 5-10%. 

Notes for editors

Cheltenham Borough Homes:

  • CBH is one of the top rated ALMOs (Arms Length Management Organisations) in the country. ALMOs are not for profit companies that run social housing services for their local council
  • Currently CBH manage and maintain around 5,000 tenant and leasehold properties with an overall satisfaction level of 85%, placing them in the top ten ALMOs nationally 
  • The organisation’s approach to community development and participation; governance and equality and diversity has been recognised as good practice nationally
  • CBH continue to develop excellent services by working closely with customers.  It will include building new homes and continuing to regenerate communities whilst tackling issues of worklessness and addressing social enterprise

For further information visit:

Press contact: Catherine Best e: [email protected] t: 01242 775317