Sunlight cuts energy costs

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OVER the next 25 years, Calderdale Council could save £3.5 million by generating solar power.

To start the ball rolling, the cabinet has agreed to look at installing photovoltaic panels on as many as 100 public buildings.

But it needs to act quickly to take advantage of the national Feed-in-Tariff scheme, which requires power companies to pay organisations and individuals a fixed rate for all of the surplus solar energy they produce.

“We quickly need a feasibility study so that if we decide to go ahead we can benefit from the maximum Feed-in-Tariff,” said environment spokesman Barry Collins.

“Under the scheme, the council will be able to recover its initial investment through big savings on the cost of electricity and also by selling spare electricity back to the grid.

“It is an attempt by the council to protect the environment,” said Coun Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden).

Of the 250 buildings which the council owns, about 100 would be suitable for solar panels, mainly because they are the right size and south facing.

But one problem for the council is that the government is considering reducing by 10 per cent the rates it pays for projects which apply to join the FIT scheme after March 2012.

The cabinet has agreed to work towards appointing an organisation to carry out a feasibility study which will help to decide how the project will work.

A further report will be brought back to the cabinet in April.

l Do you think the council should install solar panels? Email your letters to Yoursay@halifaxcourier.co.uk or write to yoursay, PO Box 19, Halifax HX1 2SF.