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Solar panels could bring free electricity to at least 1,000 Norwich homes

PUBLISHED: 17:04 10 July 2018

Solar panels on the roof of a home. Picture: Colin Finch

Solar panels on the roof of a home. Picture: Colin Finch

At least 1,000 council homes in the Norwich area could be in line for free electricity, as the city council looks to install solar panels on their roofs.

Norfolk Property Services has identified 5,000 council homes in the city area which could benefit from a PV for Free home, which would see panels added to roofs across the city.

Having been approached last year by a company offering to install the panels free of charge on homes, Norwich City Council opened the opportunity to other firms also offering the same service.

Now, cabinet members will select how these will be provided.

A report going before cabinet members on Wednesday suggests while 5,000 homes have been identified, the actual number would likely be lower.

It says: “The successful supplier will survey the properties to agree that they are suitable.

“This contract specifies that a minimum of 1,000 properties should receive the installations. NPS Norwich will ensure as many addresses as possible are within areas of high deprivation.”

The panels would allow those living in the homes to make use of the electricity generated by the panels, limiting the amount of paid-for power they use in their homes.

The report adds: “This area of work is part of the council’s ongoing programme to help residents who experience fuel poverty.

“This includes the big switch and save programme and winter wellbeing conference, which contribute to implementation of the council’s affordable warmth strategy.

“Taking all of these measures together, fuel poverty for all residents in Norwich has decreased from 12.1pc to 9.9pc since 2012, against a national backdrop of increasing fuel poverty and rising energy prices.”

It also argues the installations would result in reductions in the city’s overall carbon footprint.

Once the panels are in place, the company selected to install them would receive a feed-in-tariff for any energy which is not used by the tenant and is fed back into the national grid.

The report will go in front of the city council’s cabinet on Wednesday evening, with officers recommending members award a contract for the programme to go ahead.

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