British Gas launches new business unit with solar and battery installations a central pillar

British Gas has unveiled four new energy efficiency services, with solar and battery installations a core pillar for the new business unit.

Other pillars include home health checks, an improved Hive EV charger and insulation installation.

These pillars will play a pivotal role in the energy and home services provider’s offerings to bolster residential net zero prospects. The firm will also train 3,500 engineers in a bid to support this new offering.

The new business unit, whose “sole mission” is to support customers with the journey to net zero, will position the engineers to install and maintain EV chargepoints, insulation, solar panels, hydrogen ready boilers, heat pumps and many more. This will greatly enhance the prospects in decarbonising homes across the UK.

As part of the new offering, British Gas will provide free homes consultations for solar panel installations with the option to install a battery as well. This new measure has been introduced following the results of the British Gas Net Zero Home Index, which found a healthy appetite for solar installations with 87% of the public having said they would support building more solar power.

The solar survey conducted by British Gas for customers would showcase estimated costs, savings and installation options without any commitment. The installations would then be carried out over a two to four day period and save customers up to 90% on electricity costs once operational, the firm said.

Another core pillar of the new offering is a “new and improved” Hive EV charger, which is set to be released to the public later this month. The smart charger allows customers to charge their car when prices are at their lowest and when the most renewable energy is available on the grid, with the integrated automated charging feature able to support the balancing of the grid.

The next edition of the charger will be “one of the smallest chargers in the market”, British Gas said. The chargers will be constructed via a partnership with EV charging firm EO Charging, and then installed by British Gas engineers. Customers can then use the Smart Charge service to reduce bills further.

The final two pillars of the new offering include a Home Health Check and insulation. The health check comprises of a comprehensive energy efficiency check, which then provides customers with a personalised action plan to help them decarbonise the home.

This check will include thermal imagery and checking radiator efficiency. Another key aspect is providing customers with advice on how to access government support and grants to boost the efficiency further.

British Gas has also opened its insulation service, with customers advised to register online to find out when it will be first available in their area. Engineers will be able to install a range of solutions including loft and cavity insulation.

“We are on a mission to help consumers lower their household energy bills, whilst at the same time reducing their carbon emissions. We recognise that many households are being cautious with their spending currently but want to make sure the right products are there for those who can make these changes – and we want to do all we can to make greener home solutions more affordable and accessible so that no one is left behind,” said Andrew Middleton, managing director of net zero at British Gas.

“With the UK’s largest network of energy experts, we are uniquely placed to guide customers and equip them with actionable insights on how to manage energy consumption. Our trusted engineers are already giving our customers energy efficiency advice at every appointment and have installed over 8,000 electric car charging points and over 2,300 heat pumps.

“Our expert teams have helped improve the insulation of millions of properties and support solar panel installations around the country each day.”

50MW solar farm in Gloucestershire gets the green light

Tewkesbury Borough Council has approved a 49.9MW solar farm in Gloucestershire.

The application for Maisemore Solar Farm was submitted in March 2022 by solar and battery storage developer, Renewable Connections.

The proposal included a community fund of up to £80,000 as well as creating biodiversity enhancements over approximately 16 hectares of wetlands.  

According to Renewable Connections, Maisemore Solar Farm will also form a “key part” of the Gloucester to Newent cycle route, by creating a new cycle and pedestrian access link.

Construction of the solar farm is expected to commence this year; once operational it will have a life span of up to 40 years.

“We are delighted to have received approval for Maisemore Solar Farm. Councils such as Tewkesbury Borough Council understand that urgent action is required to limit the environmental impacts produced by the climate crisis and many have now declared their own climate emergency,” said John Leith, development director at Renewable Connections.

“There are significant benefits to this scheme, aside from the obvious low carbon, home-grown energy it will deliver. The implementation of a Green Infrastructure Plan will substantially enhance biodiversity by creating a range of new habitats offering food and shelter to wildlife and additional landscaping.

“The project will also see the creation of a new cycle and pedestrian access to link Maisemore to the Over Basin via an existing footbridge across the Leadon.”

Earn & Save In Excess Of £20,000 With The Use Of Battery Storage & Grid Trade

Potential earnings/savings depend on a number of variables such as property location, winter mode, costs and a customer’s local profile. The costs of installing solar panels may vary depending on the size of the system installed and how complicated the install is to carry out.