Work underway on Leeds solar programme

More than 150 tenants are now benefitting from free electricity, courtesy of solar panels installed by Leeds City Council.

The local authority is two months into a project to install 1,000 solar photovoltaic systems on council homes.

The Better Homes Yorkshire team – Keepmoat and Wilmott Dixon Energy Services – have been working with tenants to ensure the installation process is as painless as possible.

A total of 162 tenants are now enjoying the benefits of free electricity and work on all 1,000 properties is expected to be completed by mid-November.

After an initial outlay of £3.8 million, the solar panels will make the council around £5.4 million over 20 years

“As a council we’re exploring different ways we can provide fuel and heat that are more sustainable,” said executive member for regeneration, transport and planning, Cllr Richard Lewis.

“The Government is consulting on reducing the Feed-In-Tariffs rates significantly and I have been advised that, if this goes ahead, future schemes will not be financially viable. However, it’s great to celebrate these panels being installed, improving council homes and making energy bills cheaper for the tenants.”

Better Homes Yorkshire framework director, Stephen Batty, added: “The installation programme is going very well, on time and on budget, with positive feedback from many tenants already.”

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues