A firm linked to a Devon County Council solar panel and battery storage scheme has gone bust, writes Bradley Gerrard.

Green Energy Together, also known as GET UK, has appointed insolvency company Price Bailey to oversee its winding up.

GET UK installed many of the solar panels and energy storage batteries that householders bought through a scheme called Solar Together Devon, backed by the council in which it encouraged households to sign up to enjoy a preferential rate.

Devon County Council said it was notified about GET UK’s solvency issues in early summer, but said that it was not seeking to recoup any money as part of the liquidation process because it had not directly contracted the firm.

“Get UK is not a contractor of the council,” a Devon County Council spokesperson said.

“We contracted with iChoosr in 2020, who run the national Solar Together scheme, and GET UK was contracted by iChoosr.

“We were notified of GET UK’s demise in the first week of June this year.”

The council added that it was not aware of any residents whose order had not been fulfilled, and only knew of one case where work had started but not been finished.

The council said it was working with iChoosr to find a solution to any issues, adding that iChoosr was contacting Devon residents in tranches to notify them about GET UK.

The Solar Together Devon scheme closed in October 2020, with most of the installations completed in the first half of 2021.

The council said it had no plans to reopen the scheme.

Despite the potentially low impact on applicants, three Devon businesses appear to be owed money, according to documents on Companies House.

PVF Scaffolding in Ilfracombe is owed £12,828, while Newnham Park Estate in Plymouth is owed £4,680 and Exeter-based 1st Scaffolding is owed £320.

The firms are among 122 nationally that are considered unsecured creditors of GET UK, with claims totalling £4.2 million.

It’s understood that Price Bailey is seeking buyers for assets owned by GET UK to help raise funds.

Price Bailey did not provide a comment on the process.

Solar Together Devon worked by grouping applicants together so that solar panels and battery systems could be bought in bulk. The Solar Together Devon website said it had secured average savings of between 10 and 25 per cent on market prices by purchasing in bulk.

It invited installers to bid in an auction, with the lowest bidder securing the contract. The winning bid set the price for all the solar panels and battery systems in an area, with all installers pre-vetted as part of the scheme and having to comply with Solar Together’s “criteria to guarantee the quality of the offer.”

A Devon resident who had bought solar panels and batteries through the scheme said: “I took part in this scheme because it was supported by Devon County Council.

“There were problems with it from the start and the work hasn’t been completed satisfactorily after two years. I wish I’d never heard of Green Energy Together, and I’d advise anyone thinking of entering a joint purchasing scheme backed by any council to think twice. It appears there’s no endorsement or guarantee by the council; the key selling point is a cheaper price. I would have been better off choosing a reputable Devon firm, rather than one from near London chosen by the council.”