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Council plans free solar panels for Leeds homes

December 9, 2010 12:00 AM

Cllr James Monaghan (Headingley), Lib Dem Environment Spokesman has welcomed council plans to install free solar panels on at least 1000 Leeds homes by March 2012.

The scheme will see Leeds City Council work with a social enterprise called CES to install the panels on roofs of suitable properties in some of the most deprived parts of the city. It is estimated that installing the panels on 1000 homes will save 872 tonnes of CO2 per year, cutting each participating household's annual electricity bill by over £100.

Each unit of electricity generated will generate an income of 41p under the government's Feed In Tariff incentive scheme. This income will pay for the initial cost of installing the panels, with any excess potentially funding a further scheme to install free insulation in homes in the city.

Cllr Monaghan proposed a motion to a full council meeting in July calling for the council to introduce a similar scheme. He also sits on the Climate Change Working Group which has been involved in developing this proposal. He said:

"This is an excellent scheme which I fully welcome. It will reduce CO2 emissions by tens of thousands of tonnes, cut household energy bills dramatically and generate income for the council. It will also lead to the creation of local jobs.

"I have long been an advocate for microgeneration and have recently called for the council to introduce a scheme along these lines. It's great that a proposal this innovative has come forward so quickly and will cover so many households."