Bedford Borough residents and local businesses are being encouraged to find out more about a scheme that could help them lower their energy bills and reduce their carbon emissions. Solar Together Bedfordshire is a group-buying scheme that helps households get a reduced price on the installation of solar panels and battery storage. It’s free to register, and there is no obligation to accept the personal recommendation. The more people that register, the better bargaining power Solar Together has to get you a more competitive price. How it works Pre-approved UK solar photovoltaic (PV) suppliers will take part in an auction this summer. Suppliers can offer competitive prices as the volume and geographic concentration make it possible to buy at cheaper rates, which they then pass on to customers with lower prices for installations. Get a recommendation After the auction, registered households will receive a personal recommendation by email. This recommendation will be specific to the details submitted in their registration. All households should carefully assess their quote to make sure it is right for their circumstances, it is always good practice to obtain other quotes for comparison. If households choose to accept their recommendation, a technical survey will be carried out to confirm the specifics of their installation and then a date can be set for installation. Planning permission Installations will generally not need planning permission. However, in some cases, such as in conservation areas and on listed buildings, planning permission may be required. You can find more information about planning requirements for PV panels in Bedford Borough here (PDF). Support during the process Participants in the scheme can access telephone and email help desks throughout the process which, together with information sessions, will allow them to make an informed decision in a safe and hassle-free environment. If you have any questions, you can view frequently asked questions on the Solar Together webpage, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 0800 098 8994 (Monday - Friday, 8am - 5pm). Register your interest Registration has now closed for this round, however, you can register your interest for future auctions here.