Solar Club


1.    Introduction

A partnership initiative between Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Authorities, Southampton Sustainability Forum, Rainbow Solar Trading and the ‘community’ to reduce the cost to install Solar Water heating in households and community buildings.

The aims of a Solar Club are:

•    Not for profit training initiative to include ALL
•    To encourage householders/community groups and Local Authorities to use renewable energy
•    Make it as cheap as possible – Solar Club boasts £1,500 as opposed to £5-8k
•    Fulfills a social inclusion remit in that it offers a low cost peer-led alternative to fitting solar technology that is otherwise unobtainable.
•    Skills sharing and an opportunity to learn from each other.
•    To reduce CO2 emissions and help protect the environment.


1.1    Who will benefit?

•    Private and public sector households
•    Community groups
•    Schools
•    Hampshire & Isle of Wight Local Authorities
•    Southampton Environment Centre
•    Rainbow Solar Trading
•    Southampton University and other academic institutions

1.2    How will they benefit?

The Solar Club aims to heighten the awareness of those involved in various social, environmental and economic programmes and to give greater prominence to solar energy sources such as:

•    An excellent opportunity to bring people together to undertake a project.
•    Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
•    Can be incorporated into other refurbishment and energy efficiency measures.
•    Educational value. Solar water heating on a community building provides an educational resource for the whole community.
•    Technological research and development

1.3    Why do this?

At the moment, little importance is attached to renewable energy sources in Community policies, programmes and the budget. Community based renewable energy can play a significant part and the ‘Solar Club’ is committed towards working with communities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to encourage this.

At a conference held in Southampton in March 2001 a questionnaire revealed that residents of Southampton were more likely to take up solar water heating if:

1.    There was more information available that installing  solar helped the environment
2.    There were incentives available
3.    Fuel costs were higher

2.0    Outcomes

2.1    What are the key objectives?

The key objectives of the Project are:

•    To make solar energy more attractive and easily obtainable to consumers
•    To provide relevant and reliable information to local authorities.
•    Establish a community development process model of good practice;
•    Support development and planning applications

2.2    Key quantitative and qualitative targets

•    Creation of local jobs for volunteers e.g. trainers/presenters/referrers by 2005
•    Train up to 80  people fitting solar water heating by year 2005
•    100 Solar water heating installations in pilot area by 2005
•    20 demonstration community buildings fitted with solar energy systems by 2005.
•    Assessment of new kWh of new renewable energy created directly from the solar club.

3.0    What’s In It For You?

1.    Sign today if you or someone you know are interested in attending a solar hot water heating training workshop
2.    Are interested in becoming a trainer and/or installer to teach other people the necessary skills.
3.    Will be willing to distribute leaflets to your groups to help market the Solar Club.
4.    Would like to install solar water heating on your or someone you knows roof/community building.





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