Solar panels are today (Monday 7th February) being installed on properties in a sheltered housing complex to cut energy usage and save residents money.
Aspire Housing is working in partnership with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to fit panels on 29 bungalows and a community hall in Kent Grove, Chesterton.
The social housing provider last year won a tender process which asked for eco-friendly ideas on how to spend £100,000 of council funding. Aspire Housing is also investing £135,000 of additional funds to meet the total installation costs.
Work gets underway today and, when fully installed, the photovoltaic cells attached to roofs will convert sunlight into electricity.
Residents will be able to use the ‘green’ energy to run appliances and lighting, with any spare energy sold to the national grid.
It means residents will each save an estimated £104 per year on their electricity bills.
Cllr Robin Studd, Cabinet member for regeneration and planning, said: “We’re delighted that work is starting on this fantastic scheme.
“One of the council’s priorities is to reduce domestic energy use, which currently makes up 37 per cent of the borough’s carbon emissions.
“Using renewable energy in this way reduces reliance on the national grid while supporting older people in the borough who may be suffering from fuel poverty.”
Will Nixon, Aspire Housing’s Director of Regeneration, said: “In a recent consultation, customers told us that making their homes more energy efficient and reducing running costs is a priority.
“We are very pleased to work in partnership with the borough council to deliver this scheme which will make it more affordable for our customers at Kent Grove to heat and light their homes, as well as reducing the environmental impact of the scheme.”
He added: “We are committed to continuing this kind of innovative investment in our homes and communities, and it’s great to be getting the project underway today.”
The work is expected to take around two months to complete.
The reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from domestic properties by promoting energy efficiency is one of the aims of the borough council’s Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Strategy. To view the strategy, visit www.newcastle-staffs.gov.uk .