Solar power boost for council tenants

Council tenants across Kirklees are to benefit from a £6m investment in solar panels that has won council approval.

Members of Kirklees Council's cabinet committee agreed to spend 6m on photo-voltaic (solar cell) technology for 1,000 council homes, money which the authority says can be earned back by selling energy to the National Grid.

Officials estimate that the income from the scheme could be more than 500,000 a year for the next 25 years – which will more than exceed the initial set-up costs.

Cabinet members also agreed to borrow up to 2m in the next financial year to support a self-financing budget to install the solar technology on about 25 council buildings such as offices, sports centres and schools.

However, the panels will only be placed on sites where costs will be recovered through the Government's "feed-in tariff" programme.

Councillor Mehboob Khan, leader of the council and cabinet member for renewable energy, said: "The council will work in partnership with Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing on this scheme which will see people benefiting from reduced bills."