South Cambridgeshire Council and Norfolk Council are both embarking on a project to install solar panels on the roofs of council owned properties. The plan has a number of objectives, to reduce the area's carbon footprint, to help tenants save money on their bills and to generate a return over the next 25 years on the investment.
Photovoltaic solar panels absorb light from the sun and convert it to electricity that can be used in the home or workplace. PV Solar Panels require installation in a location that is exposed to daylight for most of the day; most installations on houses will be placed on the roof. It is important that the area is un-shaded and faces within 90 degrees of south. This means that both council's will have to assess the properties in their portfolio to ascertain which properties will be suitable for the solar panels.
It is possible for a profit to be made over time by installing solar panels thanks to the government backed feed-in tariff scheme. This scheme can be used by homes or businesses and means that a payment is made for every kWh of energy produced and bonus payments are made for any energy exported to the national grid. The feed-in tariff scheme is partly responsible for the massive solar boom that has taken place over the last 18 months.
With these projects the councils are set to benefit long term by re-cooping and making a profit on their investment, whilst the tenants will be able to benefit from cheaper electricity bills and the environment will see a drop in carbon emissions. Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular; there are many councils across the country also implementing similar projects with the same key objectives.