Construction, maintenance and energy efficiency expert J
Tomlinson has been appointed as part of a pioneering community solar investment
Chase Community Solar, a community benefit society in
Staffordshire, is believed to be the first scheme in the UK aiming to put solar
panels on the roofs of council houses funded by a community share offer.
The project aims to raise at least £400,000 to install solar
panels on up to 400 council-owned bungalows in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.
Energy efficiency experts at J Tomlinson have been selected
to fit the panels, which are designed to help council tenants cut their energy
bills through free electricity generated by the solar photovoltaic panels.
The integrated building solutions company, which is based in
Beeston, Nottingham and has a network of regional offices including a presence
in Burton-on-Trent, has considerable expertise in the field of PV panels,
having fitted more than 40,000 panels over the past four years on a range of
buildings including schools, offices, social housing, sheltered housing and
private homes.  
Chief executive of J Tomlinson, Mark Davis, said: “Cannock
Chase is the second most deprived area in Staffordshire after Stoke-on-Trent,
with high levels of fuel poverty. Council tenants benefiting from the solar
panels can expect to save up to £250 a year on their energy bills.
“As a company that offers energy efficient solutions as well
as energy generation technologies, J Tomlinson is very pleased to be a part of
the team involved in this pioneering community solar investment project, which
is the first of its kind in the country.”
The firm currently works in the area for Stafford Borough
Council and housing associations Midland Heart, Trent & Dove Housing,
Bromford Housing and Accord Housing Association on servicing, maintenance and
repair contracts.
The company has previously installed photovoltaic panels for
Trent & Dove Housing on their head office in Burton-on-Trent, and is
involved in gas servicing, maintenance and repairs for the group.
Investors in
Chase Community Solar, which is supported by Cannock Chase Council, are being offered a forecast annual
return of 7% for the 20-year lifetime of the scheme, with a minimum investment
of just £100. Tax relief of 30% under the Enterprise Investment Scheme is also
expected to be available. Returns are generated by the government’s Feed-in
Tariff subsidy, and any excess funds will be used to build up a local community
benefit fund. 
Mike Kinghan, chair of Chase Community Solar, said: “We believe this is the first community
energy project in the UK focusing on council house tenants. If it’s successful
it will blaze the way for further community energy projects with councils and
other social housing providers. There are many more social housing roofs across
the UK and there is no reason why every suitable roof should not host solar PV.” 
The next launch night for the scheme takes place in
Lichfield on Tuesday November 25th in the Lichfield Room, Wade
Street Church (Frog Lane entrance), WS13 6HL, at 7.30pm. 
J Tomlinson, which is a privately owned company founded in
the 1950s, has a substantial heritage and wealth of experience in delivering
integrated building solutions tailored to both public and private sector
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR