More than 30,000 homes in Portsmouth could have solar panels installed on roofs

MORE than 30,000 homes in Portsmouth could soon make the switch to solar energy with the the launch of a new scheme.

Wednesday, 6th January 2021, 7:00 am
A new tool will help people in Portsmouth find out if they are eligible to install solar panels on their roofs.

The city council is set to introduce an online assessment tool - known as Switched On Solar - that will tell residents if their homes are eligible for solar panels.

It is then hoped government grants secured through the council's home energy support service could help cover some of the installation costs.

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Speaking at a Portsmouth City Council cabinet meeting, Andrew Waggott - the authority's energy services team manager - said: 'It is a bespoke tool for anyone who wants to see the solar panels on their homes.

'We think that's really quite market leading.'

Council officers reported up to 32,000 homes in Portsmouth would be eligible for solar panel installation.

Councillor Darren Sanders, the council's housing boss, said: 'The work that's being put forward is offering people all the chance to have solar panels on their roofs, which is a way of saying we have to make our city greener.

'Our air is too dirty, our roads are too congested. Everyone must do their bit to ensure the city is cleaner.'

The tool would make up one part of the work provided by the home energy support service, which also aims to make homes in the city more energy efficient through Switched On Portsmouth.

Last year it was estimated around 400 households made savings of £330,000 in the first six months of Switched On operating.

It comes after the council installed 3,500 solar panels on council-owned properties between 2019 and 2020, adding to 20,000 installed in 2019.

Cllr Lee Hunt added: 'We are turning Portsmouth into a solar farm. This is tremendous stuff.'

In October 2020 the council successfully bid for £1.8m from the government to support the delivery of solid wall insulation, air source heat pumps and heating controls for private properties.

It has now submitted a bid for £4m from government for homes with solar panels.

During the meeting cabinet members agreed officers should continue to seek as many grants as possible, as well as exploring the possibility of providing low-cost loans to households to make energy efficiency upgrades.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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