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SOLAR panels being installed on the roofs of schools have helped to contribute to a council’s carbon-saving.

Hampshire County Council has exceeded its own target of reducing carbon emissions by 20 per cent – a figure set by its cabinet in 2010.

Emissions have been reduced by more than 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over five years – a total saving of 22.8 per cent.

The installation of 20 solar photovoltaic panels across the county council’s schools is now bringing in savings of £20,000 per annum, generating 200,000 kilowatts of power every year.

The authority said the savings over five years amounted to around £2.7m.

Councillor Mel Kendal, who is in charge of income at the Winchester-based authority, said: ‘This achievement demonstrates the success of the county council’s proactive approach to carbon reduction, resulting in energy cost savings and a healthier outlook for Hampshire’s environment.

‘It was a challenging target and we have exceeded it.

‘Our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint is protecting Hampshire’s environment, enabling us to make savings on energy costs and generate income from the national grid through the use of renewable technologies.’

In schools and office buildings, maintenance improvements such as re-roofing and boiler and lighting replacements have helped towards making the savings.