The Almshouses: sharing solar power

William Lunn’s Homes have been a community haven since 1654, when he left in his will two houses as almshouses for six poor widows. His legacy continues today, with the Almshouses now a prospering and caring community of 13 homes occupied by the elderly and disadvantaged.


On the announcement by Marks & Spencers of a Community Energy Competition, Low Carbon Lichfield approached Lichfield Municipal Charities – the Almshouses’ trustees – to check their interest in us putting together a bid to help the residents to save energy.

With the support of the trustees we designed an innovative proposal for solar power. Having been shortlisted from over 246 entries, we went on to win the Central West regional prize.

With the prize money we, with a local installer, shall fit Solar PV panels on to the roof of a section of the Almshouses. The power will be managed by a highly innovative Tamworth-designed and -manufactured energy management system that will automatically monitor and share the energy between four homes.

The data provided by the system will also allow us to show residents how they are using the power and how to maximise the use and savings. With many at home all day and spending up to 22% of their income on energy, these savings will make a big difference to their lives.