St Georges Community Housing (SGCH)



TV Energy have recently completed phase 1 of the project with St Georges Community Housing, Basildon Essex which assessed the potential for PV technology on 47 sheltered accommodations for the elderly. A predominantly desk based study took place with the help of Google Earth to assess the potential output and benefits of photovoltaic (PV) panels if they were installed at these locations. At present, TV Energy is at the beginning of phase 2 of the project which is the next step and investigates the various issues and potential barriers of PV followed by tendering processes and finally PV installation.




Phase 1 of the project showed that 53% of all properties looked at were suitable for PV installation. TV Energy also recommended installation of Solar Hot Water (SHW) on 30% of the properties as these are likely to have a shorter payback and provide hot water to these properties.

 As energy input to PV is directly related to sunlight intensity, PV is better suited to homes where energy use peaks during daylight hours; this is more typical of sheltered housing energy usage.

SHW requires a storage tank, and a compatible boiler which most of the properties lacked. Both would add to costs. However modifications are available to certain combi boilers to allow compatibility.

 Shading and orientation of a roof determine the potential for harnessing of solar energy

 Modifications to the site to reduce shading (e.g. removal of trees), could increase the number of buildings suitable for PV and SHW.



1.4MWp of PV would cost approximately £4,200,000 (April, 2011), while 268 solar hot water systems would cost approximately £938,000.

FIT would provide an income of £399,000p.a. However as Ofgem has classified the sheltered housing as domestic, RHI grants cannot be applied for until 2012 and will only be given to installations set up in 2012 or after.

Savings are likely to be £240 on energy bills per house if the total 1.4MWp of PV is installed.

house good roof

Host Feedback / Importance of Technology

Renewable heat sources have a high potential for meeting government targets of 20% CO2reductions by 2020, as energy used for heating accounts for approximately 50% of all CO2emissions in the UK.

Relatively large scale projects, such as community housing, help improve acceptability of renewables as they appear more common place. 

TV Energy was requested to assess an additional 486 properties within the Felmores area of Basildon for CESP funding. 48% were suitable for PV, while solar heating is likely to be more suitable for another 20% of the properties.


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