A social housing company want to put a bit of sunshine on energy bills

PUBLISHED: 20:00 25 June 2011

(click on image for larger view) Solar panels being fitted by ns housing at  Canberra road, Joanne Thomas with her children Trudy, Piper and Carter.

(click on image for larger view) Solar panels being fitted by ns housing at Canberra road, Joanne Thomas with her children Trudy, Piper and Carter.

Archant

NSHOUSING is hoping to install 10,000 solar panels to properties across North Somerset.

It comes as an opportunity to reach carbon reduction targets and have cheaper electricity bills for tenants.

Supply and installation for a typical 2.4kw system is put in the region of £7,000 and would take four days to be up and running.

The driving force behind the scheme is the Government Feed-in-Tariff, a scheme that was brought in last year where energy suppliers have to make regular payments to householders and communities who generate their own electricity from renewable or low carbon sources.

The tariff currently stands at 43 pence per kilowatt generated and it is estimated that NSHousing tenants will have up to £200 of free electricity a year - which equates to four weeks’ rent.

Joanne Thomas, aged 30, from Canberra Road in Weston is set to get the solar panels fitted.

She said: “We are all looking to save money. I have three children so any way that I can save money is a bonus.

“A couple of weeks ago I moved into my new council flat and was phoned to see if I wanted the solar panels.

“I then had someone come down who told me I would be eligible and he said I had a large enough roof to install the panels.

“I will be saving a third of my electric bill and I think that is brilliant.

“They said it will take about eight to 12 weeks before they come to install it and hopefully it will be up and running by August.

“I am amazed that some people are saying no to installing the panels, they make your bills cheaper and they don’t cost a thing.”

The system converts solar energy into electrical energy during daylight hours.

A cloudy day will also produce energy that can be converted into electricity but it will be much less than a sunny day.

NSHousing director of assets, Steve Drew said: “The Government’s tariff is a key tool in helping NSHousing achieve its objectives to provide stronger communities, better homes and smarter business.

“By installing solar panels on our homes, we will be able to help our tenants save money, reduce their carbon footprint and safeguard against future energy bill rises.

“There has never been a better time to invest in renewable energy and we want to be one of the leaders in this field.”

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