Solar panels agreed at ‘minimal cost’

THE first stage in installing solar panels on council houses in Uttlesford has been given a bright green light.

Uttlesford District Council will employ a third party to carry out the work on 1,000 of its 2,856 properties across the district in the hope that money will be saved on energy bills for tenants.

The project will be built and managed by an independent company, which will then be allowed to sell ‘excess electricity’ back into the national grid, meaning the initiative will cost the taxpayer virtually nothing.

It had been mooted that UDC should manage the scheme on its own, but this would have cost the council at least �6 million.

Cabinet member for environmental services Cllr Julie Redfern said: “It is a win-win situation, it is minimal cost to the council and around one third of homes will get panels to help tenants save money.”

Solar panels will be position on the roof of council houses, facing south, and electricity will be beamed straight into the homes.

David Parish, vice chairman of the Uttlesford tenants forum, said that the group were “very pleased” with the outcome and added: “We are strongly behind it and it is good to see UDC works for its tenants.”

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The move will also lower the carbon emissions in the district, but many have called for the council to go even further.

Cllr Redfern added: “We are looking at the possibility of installing panels on council buildings as well, to further lower costs and emissions.”

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