Forster successfully delivered an 11 home solar PV retro-fit programme in Garmouth for Aberdeenshire social housing landlord Osprey Housing.
Eleven, eight panel (2kWp) solar PV systems were fitted, on the most southerly facing roof of each home. Due to the lack of southerly facing roof area on one of the homes a split south east/south west array was installed. SolarEdge power optimisers were connected to each panel to optimise the performance across the panels on both roofs.
Power diverters were also fitted in each home, meaning that any solar-generated-electricity not used by the resident, is diverted to heat their hot water tank, further reducing the amount of electricity they need to buy-in from their energy supplier during the day. “This is what really sold it to us”, explained Osprey Housing Energy Support Officer, Jane McWhirr, “as it means that all tenants will benefit, regardless of whether or not they are at home during the day. It was an ideal solution for these properties, which due to being off the gas grid, tend to have high electricity bills.”
The works were completed within a week as programmed, minimising any disruption to the residents. In order to help the residents maximise the benefit from the free electricity generated by the panels on their roof, Forster provided an eight page guide full of useful tips.
The eight panel systems could save the Garmouth residents as much as £200, depending on how much electricity they use during daylight hours. “One tenant said her weekly spend on electricity has already gone down from £20 to £15.”
“Forster have been a great contractor to work with,” said Jane, “they have been very open, with lots of information freely provided at each stage. Everything ran smoothly, with minimal disruption to tenants. Forster were flexible enough to work around our tenants’ availability and even provided each household with a user guide. It’s brilliant to hear that our tenants are already seeing the benefit of the new PV systems, and the improvement in the energy efficiency rating has meant that these homes are now meeting EESSH (Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing). Following the success of this, our first programme of PV, we are now considering rolling out PV programmes across other schemes.”
“We were delighted to be selected to work on this project, and it was really pleasing to receive such positive feedback from Osprey and their tenants” said Forster Energy Managing Director, Steve Scott. “PV provides a great solution for meeting the EESSH and tacking fuel poverty. It is cost effective and less intrusive than other measures and can have a significant impact on the Energy Efficiency ratings of homes and other buildings”.
The project was delivered through the Scottish Procurement Alliance (SPA) Energy Efficiency & Refurbishment framework. “We are really pleased with how this project was successfully delivered, it’s a great example of our Energy Efficiency & Refurbishment framework working well. Forster demonstrate the excellence we strive for at SPA, they have effectively safeguarded our client and demonstrate a suitable opportunity to procure an energy efficiency solution,” said Clive Feeney, Head of SPA Operations.