Solar panels ‘could make council cash’

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SOLAR panels could be put on council buildings in a bid to rake in extra cash.

Fareham Borough Council said it is investigating the possibility of putting them on its towering council civic offices in Civic Way.

Ferneham Hall and Fareham Leisure Centre are also being considered.

If the panels produce enough energy it could be sold to the National Grid.

Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the council, said: ‘It’s something that I discussed with the officers quite some time ago.

‘It’s certainly something that we are seriously looking at.

‘It’s simply about saving money. If we can save money then it’s the right thing to be doing. And if we can produce energy and sell it back to the National Grid then that’s great.

‘It will most likely be the civic offices which will be affected but we will consider other buildings too.

‘We will only go ahead with it if it’s going to make money for the people of Fareham.’

Officers are carrying out a study to assess the process of putting the solar panels in.

It’s not known how much it will cost to fit the panels, but they could be fitted for free, with the installer benefiting from future cash generated by them.

‘We are not going to do it unless it’s going to pay for itself,’ added Cllr Woodward.

‘That’s the only reason for doing it which is saving money and maybe even making money.’

Councillor Roger Price added: ‘From my perspective it’s very clear that energy costs are going to increase for everybody.

‘It makes economic sense to do it and it’s more environmentally-friendly as well. It’s better to take energy from the sky using solar panels.’

As well as saving money, the solar panels are also part of the council’s plan to reduce the carbon footprint of the borough.

Already the council has installed low-energy lights in the Osborn Road car park and replaced the boilers at Ferneham Hall.