Houses get solar panels

NEW solar panels are to be installed on council buildings and homes to help save money.

North Tyneside Council and energy company E.ON have announced the joint project in a bid to save tenants money and reduce carbon emissions.

Around 3,000 homes will benefit, cutting tenants’ fuel bills by up to £120 a year, while the borough’s carbon footprint will fall by an estimated 75,000 tonnes over the project’s lifetime.

The council will use the income it receives through the initiative to set-up a Green Fund to offer energy efficiency improvements to the borough’s other council tenants.

Mayor Linda Arkley said: “The solar panels project is great news.

“It will lead to a substantial reduction in North Tyneside’s carbon footprint.

“But perhaps most importantly, it means that in tough financial times we’re providing extra support for our tenants by enabling them to reduce their fuel bills.

“I’m fully aware that not all tenants will be able to take advantage of the scheme.

“That’s why I’m ensuring the council’s income will go towards a Green Fund, which will enable other tenants to benefit from energy efficiency measures.”

Thomas Buss, head of microgeneration at E.ON, said: “We’ve all got a role to play in bringing down our carbon footprint and becoming more energy fit.

“I’m delighted that we’re able to work with North Tyneside Council and together we can start to make a difference and build energy efficient into our everyday lives.

“Schemes like this will not only give people a more renewable source of power, they’ll also provide a source of free energy – it’s like your housing is working for you.”

E.ON will also install In-Home Displays in 100 homes as part of a pilot scheme, which will provide tenants with visual information on their energy consumption.

E.ON has been appointed to provide, install and maintain solar panels for around 3,000 of the council’s 15,800 houses and 100 public buildings for 25 years at no cost to the local authority.

Installation work will be carried out by Kier North Tyneside, starting in September and completed by March, 2012.