Solar panels plan for Portsmouth civic offices

The civic offices in Portsmouth
The civic offices in Portsmouth
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SOLAR panels could be installed in a bid to save a council tens of thousands of pounds a year.

The scheme is estimated to cost £1m to set up at the civic offices of Portsmouth City Council, and would also look at several other sites in the city.

Councillor Luke Stubbs, the council’s cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, said that each year the authority would then save £150,000 on energy bills.

He said: ‘This will provide us with great savings financially and our carbon footprint.

‘We can also sign up to the feed-in tariff, which means surplus energy can be sold to the National Grid.

‘As a local authority we also have to look at our carbon management and make savings there when we can, so we don’t get taxed there.’

The plans will be discussed fully at next month’s capital budget meeting.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of the council, said: ‘We are looking to get solar panels for the civic offices to reduce the cost of our energy.

‘The panels can be moved or extended when needed, so if we extend the civic offices, these can be moved.

‘We need to be spending every single pound of public money astutely, and that’s what this council will be doing.

‘I think this is brilliant.

‘It’s my job to come up with ideas and explore options that will help us.’

Portsmouth Central Library and Southsea Library are some sites that already have the panels installed, and these along with about 48 others, have already saved the council £175,000.

Councillor Gerald-Vernon Jackson, leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: ‘For a while there was talk of the civic offices moving, but last year it was confirmed they would stay.

‘I’m pleased to see solar panels could be installed and think it’s a good idea and it makes sense.

‘We’ve already seen it work for the central library and in Southsea, so it will be good to make more savings.

‘I also hope the council will work with the University of Portsmouth to have one boiler, as this will save further money.’