Thousand council houses set to benefit from solar panel savings

Council bosses are next week expected to give the nod to the installation of solar panels on one thousand council properties.

At next week’s meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board (Wednesday 18 March) members will discuss whether to invest £3.8 million to install solar photovoltaic systems on 1000 council houses across the city.

The solar panels would not only reduce the city’s carbon emissions by the equivalent amount of taking around 450 cars off the road, it is also estimated that it would save tenants around £136 a year in energy costs.

The report being discussed at the executive board meeting, explains that after the initial outlay of £3.8 million, the solar panel systems will generate revenue to the council of £6.4 million over 20 years, and tenants could also save around £4.4 million in electricity costs over the same period.

The authority will be paid for sending energy generated by the panels that is not used by tenants back to the national grid as part of a Government feed-in tariff scheme.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for cleaner, safer and stronger communities said:

“Solar power is a proven source of clean, renewable energy which is already bringing benefits to a great many families, organisations and businesses across the country.

“This would be a significant investment for Leeds and would contribute to the council’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable in its use of energy. It would be a step on the way to creating a more sustainable city not just for the council but for the wider community.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and personnel said:

“With around 11.6% of Leeds households estimated to be in fuel poverty a key aim of our Affordable Warmth Strategy is to reduce fuel costs across our housing stock.

“If this scheme is agreed, we would not only see significant revenues generated for the council it would also help to address fuel poverty for many of our tenants.”

The exact properties which will be chosen to have the systems installed are yet to be determined but only properties which meet some technical pre-conditions are suitable. These include the size and pitch of the roof, which direction the roof faces, the condition of the roof and whether there is shading or other obstructions. The properties must also be approved by the distribution network operator before they could be included in the scheme. Initial survey work has already been carried out to determine which houses are most likely to be suitable, subject to more detailed individual surveys.

If the scheme is given the go-ahead, tenants who live in properties which have already been identified as potentially being suitable, will be contacted by Leeds City Council to see if they wish to go ahead with a more detailed survey with a view to having the panels installed.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk