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Deadline for York Council Tenants to Get Solar Panels Extended


7:56pm 22nd May 2013

A second phase of panels that converts daylight into free daytime electricity with zero carbon emissions is to be installed on the roofs of suitable City of York Council homes.

To take advantage of changes to the Government-set Feed-In Tariffs, the council has agreed with social enterprise Empower Community andsolar photovoltaic panel contractors Nationwide Solar to complete the installations ahead of the 1 July deadline.

Besides houses with conventionally pitched roofs, this phase will also consider roofs of suitable flats, where tenants of the top floor flats will benefit from the free electricity generated. In addition, suitable sheltered accommodation schemes will be assessed, including those with extra care facilities, where the free electricity will be used for the council-run communal areas.

The panels will be fitted on homes which have already been identified as potentially suitable in terms of size, orientation and pitch. The work will be carried out over the next six weeks at no cost to the council or to tenants to generate free, sustainable energy from daylight.

Once fitted, the panels will allow tenants to use as much of the free solar electricity generated as they wish during daylight hours. Research suggests this could supply in the region of 40 per cent of household requirements, while any electricity used outside daylight hours will be charged at the normal tariff. Tenants won’t have to change their energy supplier.

The council has already completed a survey of 780 homes to determine the exact size, angle, orientation and any overshadowing of the roofs. Tenants who have consented to the panels being installed and maintained will not find their tenancies affected in any way: the only difference will be lower fuel bills.

Councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s Cabinet member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Services said: “As a responsible landlord, we should take every opportunity to enable our tenants to lower their energy bills and cut their carbon footprint. This low-carbon source of sustainable energy will serve to keep tenants comfortable and better off, with the associated health benefits of living in a well-heated house without the worry of high fuel bills.”

Alex Grayson from Empower Community said: “This is a great opportunity to build on the initial installations completed last year and demonstrate how community energy projects for overall community benefit can work.”

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