Save with Solar Bristol

Frequently Asked Questions

We are installing solar panels and domestic batteries in ten Bristol City Council owned homes.

This is a pilot with Bristol City Council and Bristol Energy. The project will help us understand how the technology works and how we can deliver a service that will:

  • Save you money on your energy bills
  • Be simple and reliable
  • Increase the use of renewable energy in Bristol

If you have been invited to take part in the project you can tell us you’re interested by emailing solarbattery@bristol.gov.uk or calling 07500 890881.

Benefits of taking part in the project

The project will offer you a special rate on your electricity bill for two years. This will be based on our two year fixed tariff plus:

  • a 10% discount on your electricity usage
  • £5 credit every month
  • A £20 Love2Shop voucher for completing the first stage of the project

So if your bill would normally be £30 every month, your new monthly bill would be only £22 saving you £96 over the year and almost £200 over the two years of the project*.

Benefits after the project

After two years the project will be complete, but the solar panels and battery will still be in your home and continue to reduce your electricity bill. This means your energy bills should continue to be at least 10% cheaper than what they would have been without it.

We will also be able to offer the service to more people like you, spreading the benefits across Bristol.

Taking part in the project

To take part in the project you will need to switch your energy supply to Bristol Energy.

You will also need to tell us a time that someone can be at home for us to:

  • Install a SMART electricity meter
  • Complete a survey of your property to check that your property is suitable and so that we order the right equipment – this will be different for different homes depending on the size of your roof and where the battery can go
  • Install the solar panels and battery

During the two years of the project we will get in touch with you from time to time to get your feedback.

How the battery works

The solar panels will convert energy from sunlight into electricity and the battery will store this electricity for you to use when you need it – even at night!

The software on-board the battery is very intelligent. The way it works will be specific to your home and usual energy usage, the amount of generation from your solar panels, and even the weather.

If you need more energy than the solar panels have generated, you will still get electricity in the normal way so you will never be without.

If the solar panels and battery have more energy than you need, it will release energy back into the system helping to power your local area.

About the equipment

The battery is about the size of a cabin suitcase. It needs to be installed on a wall in your home in a ventilated area. The battery cannot be installed in a loft area or outdoors. As part of the project we will arrange for a survey of your home so we can select the best location to install the battery.

In some cases, the properties will need internet connection. This depends on the equipment being installed. Because every property is different, we will confirm this at a later stage.

We have chosen lithium-ion phosphate (LiFePo4) batteries for this project. This kind of battery is one of the most successful and safe battery chemistries available. Two billion cells are produced every year and many of us keep lithium-ion batteries in our pockets, in our homes and in our offices with no issue.

This kind of battery lasts between 15 and 20 years. At that point it can be recycled.

Changing supplier or moving home

If you are thinking of changing your energy supplier or moving home during the two years of the project, please let us know as soon as possible.

We can then discuss with you what will happen to your energy bills and to the equipment in your home.

Your service from Bristol Energy and Bristol City Council

Both the solar panels and the battery will be owned by Bristol City Council. This means you benefit from this technology without having to buy it yourself. You simply receive a cheaper bill.

As a customer of Bristol Energy you will have a dedicated customer support service for the project. We will manage the installation and maintenance of the system and respond to any queries you have.

*Note that this is an estimated figure and could vary depending on your average electricity usage.