RESIDENTS on a Morley estate are among the first to benefit from a Leeds City Council scheme to install solar panels in a move which could cut annual electricity bills by up to £200.
The panels are being installed on the roofs of more than 20 council houses on the Glen Estate during the first phase of a city-wide scheme which will involve 1,000 homes this year.
Council tenants who have the panels installed on properties will be able to use as much of the free electricity as they want during the daytime, cutting their energy bills and helping to reduce the city’s emissions.
Coun Neil Dawson (Labour/ Morley South), said: “This is excellent news for Morley tenants, especially as the scheme will not cost other council tax payers anything in the long term.
“In fact, it will make money that can be spent on other services in the city because Leeds City Council will be paid for the electricity generated by these panels.”
The houses have been chosen because they have roofs large enough and strong enough to hold the panels.
The scheme will cost almost £4m but will make £2.5m profit over the 20-year lifetime of the project.
The council will be paid by the government for every unit of electricity made through an agreement known as the ‘feed-in tariff.’
Another thousand council homes across the city will have the panels installed in a second phase, if the council approves the plan. The panels are being installed as part of a commitment by Leeds City Council to reduce carbon emissions in the city by 40 per cent by 2020.
Coun Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, said: “About a third of Leeds’ carbon emissions come from the energy we use at home, so it makes perfect sense to help tenants save money and reduce their environmental impact.”