Project Name:
Buckley Close
Brighton And Hove City Council
Project Type:
Operational Pilot
Date Commenced:
February 2020
Date Concluded:
Type of Housing Scheme:
New Build
Type of Home:
Number of Energy Systems:
Number of Homes:
Funding Support:
Interreg 2 Seas; Project SOLARISE

Brighton & Hove City Council is strongly committed to deploying solar PV across their housing estate, as a way to reduce carbon emissions and support tenants through lower energy bills. But while many of the Council’s tenants who live in houses and bungalows have benefited from solar installations, tenants living in flats – who make up the majority of the council’s tenants – have been missing out.

The Council engaged Emergent to deliver a pilot scheme on a small new build development to show how our microgrid approach could enable on-site solar PV to deliver bill savings for tenants living in flats. The project involves 3 separate blocks, each housing 4 residents and a single communal solar installation, set up as independent microgrid.

Our work on the scheme initially involved business case modelling, to project the expected performance. Once the scheme got the go ahead, we designed the microgrid network, supplied and installed specialist metering hardware, liaising with the existing contractors as required, and provided the customer supply agreements required to get the scheme up and running. Since the scheme has been live we have provided services including metering, billing and customer support; data analytics and commercial performance assessment; regulatory advice; and financial reporting.

The scheme has proved successful, in its first year delivering c.30% in tenant electricity bill savings, alongside c.2.5x improvement in the productivity of the solar PV assets Vs a standard domestic installation (measured in terms of the amount of solar used on site). The scheme has been easy to run, and working together we have been able to refine the service offer Emergent provides to the Council to establish an effective partnership approach that can be easily replicated across new projects.

The performance data from the scheme strongly suggests new solar installations for flats could be fully fundable for the right retrofit projects, at the same time as delivering significant tenant bill savings.

Brighton & Hove City Council is committed to deploying solar PV across our housing estate, as a way to reduce carbon emissions and support our tenants through lower energy bills. These benefits have mainly been felt by tenants of homes and bungalows, with limited benefits to tenants of flats, until now. Our pilot scheme with Emergent has been easy to set up and operate and is fulfilling its promises, delivering both carbon savings and bill savings to tenants of flats. We now want to see if we can scale up the solution and get more solar PV installed on blocks of flats, saving more emissions and supporting more tenants.

Miles Davidson

Housing Sustainability Manager, Brighton & Hove City Council