Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Exeter council tackles fuel poverty with solar installations
10:20am Monday 23rd July 2012 in Devon
MORE than 250 council house tenants in Exeter are now benefiting from free electricity thanks to photo voltaic panels that have been installed on properties in the city.
Exeter City Council has teamed up with E.ON for the initiative that helps to tackle fuel poverty head on.
Now the cuncil is looking to fit another 50 to 100 properties with solar panels before the end of July.
One happy customer is Mrs Rose Hutchings, of Summerway, Exeter, who said: "It's already saving me money, which has to be a good thing. I normally put £6 a week on my key meter but over the last three weeks I haven't needed to put anything on and I still have £8.06 left!"
The panels have been installed on council homes free of charge to the tenant. There are several criteria which a home must meet for installation but in the first instance, in order to be suitable, homes must be south-facing and have access to a pitched roof. The council has been contacting all tenants living in suitable homes.
It is hoped that the installation of panels will save people up to £120 a year on their energy bills and help reduce fuel poverty.
Cllr Rob Hannaford, lead councillor for housing and social inclusion, said: "Many people across the city are already reaping the benefits of free electricity. The scourge of fuel poverty is a major issue for many people in Exeter.
"Too many people this coming winter will have to choose between heating and eating. So, I am thrilled that have been able to take this positive and proactive approach to help some tenants to save money in partnership with E.ON, that will also generate sustainable clean energy.