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Solar panels could give free electricity to 200 Norwich council homes

Solar panels could save £200 on electricity bills.

Solar panels could save £200 on electricity bills.

Two hundred council homes in Norwich could get free electricity after proposals were put forward to install solar panels on their roofs.

Houses in Mile Cross and Catton Grove could benefit from the move, which Norwich City Council bosses say could knock up to £200 off their annual electricity bills.

The council is looking to trial the installation of a PV for Free scheme to 200 homes and to its Lakenham neighbourhood office.

The panels would be paid for and installed by Norse Energy, which would make money from the feed in tariff and the export tariff.

But the tenants would get free electricity, which could shave between £100 and £200 off their energy bills.

The proposals will go before Norwich City Council’s cabinet when it meets next Wednesday.

If the controlling Labour cabinet approves the proposal, then a detailed survey will have to take place to decide which properties will benefit.

That survey will take into account factors such as the direction each property faces, the pitch of the roof, the degree to which the roof is shaded by trees or other buildings and the capacity of the electrical systems in properties to cope with a solar panel system.

The panels are likely, however, to only be installed on “family type accommodation” with full occupancy of three bedrooms or more.

In 2010, it emerged that up to 5,000 families across Norwich could benefit from free electricity through a scheme to fit solar panels to council homes.

The council was hoping to sign a contract with a company prepared to to install photovoltaic cells on thousands of homes – which would mean free power in daylight hours for the people in those homes.

But before the contract was signed, the government slashed the feed-in tariff which meant the scheme was no longer financially viable.

However, with installation costs having dropped since 2011, the schemes are becoming financially viable again.

Do you think the solar panel scheme is a good idea? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

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