Council houses to get solar boost

Councillors Cathy Scott and Andrew Cooper outside one of the houses.
Councillors Cathy Scott and Andrew Cooper outside one of the houses.

This week marked the dawning of a new era for energy as Kirklees Council unveiled its multi-million pound solar power investment.

New solar panels were shown off this week as the council said it wanted to make energy more affordable for people living in the district.

The scheme, worth £9.2m, aims to take another 1,000 people in Kirklees out of fuel poverty, increasing the number of council houses with a solar system. Tennants would theoretically be able to save up to £100 a year, rising to £200 annually after the first 20 years.

The council said properties with poor thermal efficiency will be targeted first.

A spokesman for the council said: “It is part of our commitment to tackle the cost of living crisis, by working with local people to increase their income and reduce their outgoings.

“The new solar panels will offer an annual carbon saving of 2,000 tonnes and provide a return of almost seven percent on the investment by council, as surplus energy will be fed back into the National Grid.”

Kirklees estimates this will result in £14m income for the council over the next 20 years.

The majority of the work will be done by Kirklees Building Services, who are Green Deal accredited installers of solar PV. It is hoped the scheme will attract local contractors to supply systems and install panels in partnership with the council.