Solar panel scheme to help alleviate cost of energy bills

HUNDREDS of homes in Yorkshire’s worst fuel poverty blackspot are being targeted to introduce solar panels to help curb the cost of energy bills.

Ryedale District Council announced yesterday that a new scheme to introduce the environmentally-friendly technology is being rolled out to help householders struggling amid the economic downturn.

The area around Norton is being targeted first, with a leaflet stressing the benefits of solar panels being sent out to selected homes from Monday next week.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

More than 1,000 properties in Norton have been assessed by the Yorkshire Energy Partnership and about 400 homes with south-facing roofs free from shade and in good condition have been selected to receive the leaflet.

The council’s chairwoman of Ryedale’s Commissioning Board, Coun Linda Cowling, said: “Installing photovoltaic solar panels is a good way to tackle climate change and can help reduce your fuel bills.

“I would urge anyone who thinks that panels might be an option for them to contact the Energy Saving Trust for more information.”

The Yorkshire Post revealed last month that Britain is in the grip of the worst fuel poverty crisis in decades.

The number of Yorkshire households likely to go cold this winter could rise to 600,000 – a figure that has nearly doubled in the past four years.

Experts have said the startling increase in fuel poverty – defined as the need to spend more than 10 per cent of household income on fuel to maintain adequate warmth – shows the situation is now at breaking point, amid predictions that bills will continue to rise by as much as 25 per cent by 2020.

Latest figures have revealed that 27 per cent of homes in Ryedale are officially classed as being in fuel poverty - the greatest percentage of households in the region.

Residents across the Ryedale district are now being urged to find out more about the benefits of installing solar panels on their homes.

An event will be held at Norton Trinity Methodist Church on October 28 between 3pm and 6.30pm to give residents the chance to speak to solar panel installers and Energy Saving Trust advisors.

The York-based Energy Saving Trust advice centre can also be contacted by calling 0800 512012.