According to research, there were 26,863 sheltered housing units in Wales in 20151. Sheltered housing comprises a significant proportion of the social housing stock in the UK. Many of these properties have communal areas used by the residents with the cost of energy and heating in these areas paid for by older vulnerable tenants to their social housing providers. The annual energy consumption for the communal areas of the Valleys to Coast sheltered housing properties studied ranged from just over 30,000 kWh per annum to about 185,000 kWh per annum. The costs associated with this electricity consumption are passed on to residents through their service charge.
Solar PV combined with battery storage is a relatively new but fast developing technology. The aim is to store excess power generated by the solar PV system which would otherwise be exported to the grid. When the electricity consumption of the property is greater than any power generated by the solar array then at least some of the extra demand can be supplied from the charged batteries.
Communal areas in sheltered properties and other shared properties such as flats use low level energy for lighting, heating and the running of communal washing machines. The installations could help lower shared energy bills of sheltered properties, saving them money and potentially contributing to the alleviation of fuel poverty in these households. This evaluation could potentially be used to provide evidence for the investment in solar PV and battery storage in other settings such as privately owned flats.
Download the full report here