by Jay Unger
Green minded council bosses are set to approve a £3.8 million investment to install solar panel systems on 1000 council owned properties across the city.
The decision is to be made next week in a bid to reducing the council’s carbon footprint.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for cleaner, safer and stronger communities, said: “This would be a significant investment for Leeds and would contribute to the council’s goal of reducing its carbon footprint and becoming more sustainable in its use of energy.”
Mr Dobson said: “Solar power is a proven source of clean, renewable energy which is already bringing benefits to a great many families, organisations and businesses across the country.”
He added: “It would be a step on the way to creating a more sustainable city not just for the council but for the wider community.”
It’s estimated that the scheme could potentially save council tenants around £136 a year in energy costs and generate £6.4 million over the next 20 years.
The authority will be paid for sending energy generated by the panels that is not used by tenants back to the national grid as part of a Government feed-in tariff scheme.
Those who would potentially benefit from the scheme have not been identified, and the selection process would be based on roof size, the direction the panels would face and the condition of the roof.
Engineer for commercial company Solar-Leeds, Gavin Andrews, 37, from Headingley, said: “Roofs that are south facing will generate the most energy. If this scheme is approved then people that are in during the day when the sun is out, will benefit the most, like pensioners.
“I doubt they would provide solar panels to just one area, to maximise energy generation they’re likely to intersperse them across the city.”
Depending on the outcome of the meeting, the council plans to contact tenants who live in properties that have been identified as potentially being suitable to see if they wish to go ahead with the installation process.
The executive board meeting will take place next Wednesday (18th March) at Leeds city hall to determine whether or not to go ahead with project.