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Penderi Energy Project - What You Need To Know

The Penderi Project is the first of its kind and the largest retrofit project in the U.K.

Working with our partner Sero, and their specialisation in this market, extensive modelling was undertaken to demonstrate proof of concept so we are very confident that the project will save everyone money on their energy bills.


We want to say thank you for all your feedback over the last week, we have heard very clearly that not everyone was aware that there would be a charge for their solar electricity.  We can only apologise to those of you who didn’t feel that this was clear from the beginning, and we completely understand your frustration and anger about this.


It was never Pobl’s intention to fit this technology into anyone’s home who didn’t understand what the project is about, and how it works. But what we really don’t want to happen now, is that you leave the project without us being able to explain the project to you and show you that it is and will continue to save you money on your bills.


As promised, we have updated and published some Frequently Asked Questions (below), based on face to face, over the phone and online conversations during the last week. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to let us know.


We will be sharing more information over the coming weeks so that everyone feels that they have all the information they need to understand how this project will benefit them and their neighbours.


To speak to someone about any of your new technology, for support on paying your new solar energy bill and information on how Sero are working with Pobl on this project, the Sero team can be reached via hello@sero.life or on 029 2000 2882, we are here to help.


Sero’s team will also be at 104 Broughton Ave, on the first Wednesday of every month between 11am and 3pm, from now until the New Year, and on Tuesday 3rd October, between 5:30pm and 7pm.



  • I wasn’t told that I would have to pay for this, why are you now sending me a bill?

    Speaking to customers during the last week has shown that there are a number of people who feel they were not told about the charge for electricity. We can only apologise that this wasn’t communicated clearly enough for some people.

    There was no cost for the installation or the technology in your home. The grant funding received for this project, was agreed because of the sustainable model the project offered, monthly payments were always part of the project. Again, we are sorry if this was not explained clearly to you at the time.

  • So, what am I actually paying for, and am I paying twice?

    You are not paying twice. You will only ever pay for the electricity you use. At the moment, you are paying your energy provider for electricity from the grid, and you will be paying Pobl for the energy you have used that is generated from the solar panels.

    Your home will use the electricity generated by solar panels and in the battery first, once the electricity, generated by the solar panels, has been used, your home will start to draw electricity from the national grid. However, if you use lots of high use energy items at once you may need to also use grid energy at the same time.

    The monthly payments you have or will be contacted by Sero about, are for the solar energy you use in your home. The cost for this electricity from the solar panels on your home is less per kWh (killowatt-hour) than if it came from the national grid (through your normal energy supplier).

    You still need to pay your current supplier for the energy you are using from the grid.

  • Why have I not had an email when I have Solar panels and/or a battery?

    Sero are contacting customers in phases, this is to make sure that both Sero and Pobl are able to support all customers in understanding this project, how it works and what it means for you.

  • Do I still have to pay for my gas and electric as normal?

    Yes, you will need to keep up your payments to your current energy provider as normal as you will still be using energy from the grid. Pobl are charging you for ONLY the solar energy you use in your home. You are not paying twice for this energy you are just splitting out where your energy comes from to meet the demand in your home.

  • I don’t understand why I have to pay for the sun’s energy, the sun is free?

    You are paying for the solar energy you generate, at a lower rate that the current market price cap.

    Rather than this money going into profits of big energy companies, Pobl will be using this income to ensure many more people in your community can also benefit, by reinvesting this money into your community.

  • What are Pobl charging me for? I thought this was a grant funded project?

    That’s right, this project has been part funded by grants and has had investment from Pobl.

    The grants were given to Pobl based on a business model which must generate an income. This income must then be used to sustain and develop green energy production across more homes than the original 521 in Penderi. In the grant it was also stated that some of the income will also be used to benefit the community in a wider sense.

    The installation of all solar panels, technology and battery in each home is what the grant money covered.

    Your monthly payments for the energy you use will go toward paying back some of the capital spend on the project. This will get reinvested, allowing more people in Penderi to have this technology installed and to move us towards the Community Sharing Model – where everyone in Penderi can benefit from the solar energy by sharing the benefit.

  • Who are Sero and why are they taking my money and not Pobl?

    Sero are our energy partners on this project, this is what they do.

    They will be on hand to not only talk you through your payments but can answer any questions you have around your energy consumption and how to make the most of the system in your home.

  • How have you estimated my monthly payment? Why is it estimated?

    Your monthly payment has been based on actual data taken from your home, it is based on what you have used this year and split equally over 12 months.

    It is estimated, as although, we know what you used this year, we cannot factually say how much you will use next year – it is an estimate based on your historical use, in the same way your grid electricity is also forecast/estimated for the year ahead by your electricity supplier.

  • I can’t see what I am using on a meter, how can I trust that you are charging me correctly?

    You will receive a monthly statement each month detailing your consumption from the month before.

    You can also contact Sero to check your generation and usage data.

  • I heard there was an App?

    There is a Sero App – however it is not quite ready.

    In time, the App will give you insights into what your home is using, how your battery is behaving in real time, and the history of your billing data – all from the palm of your hand.

    It is currently in development; we will let you know as soon as it is available to download.

  • Why are you charging me so much, it’s winter?

    We have taken your annual solar usage and divided this into 12 equal payments. This means that it may seem high in the winter and lower in the summer:

    In summer : you will use more solar energy – lower grid reliance

    In winter : you will use less solar energy – higher grid reliance

    If you are currently paying monthly for your gas and electric you will notice that in the summer you will be building up a credit, if you pre-pay for your energy you will see that in the summer you will top us much less often as you will be using much more of the available solar energy.

  • I have heard that my battery is costing me money to run, is this true? / Does the light on the battery cost me money when there is no sunshine?

    If you have solar panels installed, then the electricity required to keep the battery running is extremely minimal.

    Any very minor costs will be fully covered by the electricity generated by the solar panels.

    This will be balanced out by the savings you get from using this solar generated energy.

  • I do not want to pay twice for my energy.

    You will not pay twice for your energy, you are splitting out who you pay for the energy you do use:

    Solar energy – Pobl via Sero
    Grid energy and Gas  – current supplier

  • I have not seen a change in the amount I pay for energy, even after I was supposedly getting free solar energy this summer. Why?

    As you will be aware prices, in the gas and electricity market, have continued to rise, along with everything else.

    Even though you have been benefiting from free solar energy over the summer it may well not have felt like it because your grid prices will have been rising; your bills may have stayed the same or even gone up.


    A home in Penderi used 115kWh of grid energy in June 2021 (before installation of technology), this amount of grid energy would have cost this home around £19.80 – charged at 17.22p/kWh to their energy supplier.

    This year if this same home had used the same amount of grid energy, it would have cost them around £34.50 – charged at 30p/kWh (June 2023) to their energy supplier. The increase in price is due to record highs in wholesale energy prices, something that has affected all homes in the UK.

    However, this year using the solar technology installed in their home, using the same amount of energy – 75% came from the solar panels and 25% from the grid. Meaning, if Pobl were then charging for solar it would cost £18.98 to Sero and £8.63 to the energy supplier – a total of £27.61 and saving of 20%

    So it may have felt that you’re not saving, but in reality, you are.

    You can contact Sero to go through your specific bills to explain this in more detail if that is more helpful.

  • Why is my solar payment the same as my neighbour’s when we lead very different lives?

    How we each consume energy in our home is very different.

    The monthly payment you have been given is based on your actual usage of solar energy. This data is collected by meters in your home, and the monthly amount can be changed in the future if your usage changes or the amount is not reflective of actual usage for any reason.

  • When you harvest the electric, do you sell back to the tenant and how much does it cost?

    Pobl do not harvest any energy from the solar panels in Penderi, the energy generated on the roof goes into the battery in the home and is then used. Pobl will charge you 22.1 pence per kilowatt-hour to use this solar generated energy.

  • Was anyone told about the charge?

    Yes. Leaflets, emails and conversations will have let customers know that there would be a cost for the energy, but because this project is the first of its kind, we were unable to let people know how much the energy would cost per kilowatt hour, until the system ran for a while.

    We are committed to ensuring you receive the energy at a discount, which is why the rate has been set below the Ofgem price cap, at a lower rate than the big energy companies.

  • Will we be charged every month?

    Yes, Sero will take payment from you each month. You will then receive a statement each month which will let you know usage for the previous month and your balance.

  • I cannot afford the amount you have asked for, what can I do?

    If you’re worrying about affordability you can speak to Pobl’s Advice and Support Team. Pop into the 104 on Broughton Avenue, or contact Pobl through the usual methods.

  • Why didn’t Pobl use the money from Welsh Gov/EU to improve my home i.e. kitchen/bathroom?

    Government bodies portion up funds to reach the different targets they set. Kitchen and bathroom upgrades would not have qualified for funding through the stream of funding Pobl gained for this renewable energy project.

  • I had a letter saying that I would have to pay a small standard charge, that’s not what I am being told now?

    The standard charge refers to the rate that Pobl will charge per kilowatt-hour (p/kWh).

    This price per kilowatt-hour is for the energy generated from your solar panels and used in your home. This cost “pence/kWh” will always be lower than the energy price cap set by Ofgem.

    This means you will be paying less p/kWh than big energy companies will be charging. So, you will always be better off.

  • I’ve heard that it takes more than three solar panels just to charge the battery before I can even use it, so what’s the point?

    This isn’t the case.

    You will still save money on your energy bill if you have three solar panels on your roof.

    Obviously, the more solar panels the bigger the saving, and during installation we engineered every roof to get as many panels on as possible.

  • If we switch the box off, will we still be charged?

    If you switch the system off, then you won’t be generating any solar energy, so no, you won’t be charged. But you also won’t see any of the savings because your home will no longer be generating solar energy.

  • I did not sign a contract; I have been told I did.

    No one has been asked to sign a contract.

    You may have been asked to sign an iPad when the technology was being fitted to your home, this was just to confirm that the work had been done.

  • I no longer want this in my home, can you remove it?

    We’re sorry to hear you feel that way and would welcome the opportunity to talk through the benefit of the system with you to alleviate any concerns.


    Should you then decide that you would rather get all of your energy from the grid, the technology would remain in your home.  This, of course, at no cost to you.  While we won’t remove the system, we will visit and ensure that your energy supply is only coming from the grid.


    We very much want you to continue to benefit from the solar and battery system, and in leaving it in situ it will ensure you are able to re-join at any time.

  • What happens if I refuse to pay?

    We would welcome the opportunity to talk through the benefit of the system with you to alleviate any concerns.

    Should you then decide that you would rather get all of your energy from the grid and not pay Pobl for your solar energy, we will visit your home and ensure that your energy supply is only coming from the grid, so that you don’t receive any bills from Sero.

  • If we don’t pay, will we be taken to court, or will the charge be added to our rent account?

    We want to support everyone included in the Penderi Energy project to benefit from the model and be able to meet their payments.

    Should you have concerns about making payment please contact us and we will look at how we can help.

  • Will the Pobl unit rate get higher or lower with changes to the price cap?

    Pobl have fixed the price to give stability.  We do not expect prices to reduce beyond the current levels.  In the event that should happen we will review the rate per kilowatt-hour.

    Our aims is to ensure that you are always better off than if you were to only use energy from the grid.