HUNDREDS of tenants across Tameside are now looking forward to lower energy bills, after landlord New Charter fitted their homes with solar panels.
The housing association has installed the panels to hundreds of properties in the past two months alone – with plans to fit panels to 4500 properties across the borough by next August.
The project has been praised by Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds, who is Labour’s Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change.
And today he joined New Charter chief executive officer Ian Munro and Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne to mark the completion of the 1000th property on Keddlestone Walk, in Denton.
The renewable technology – which generate energy from the sun – will work in conjunction with the Government’s Feed-In Tariff scheme and could cut tenants electricity bills by between £200 and £400 a year.
It’s been estimated that over the next 25 years it could save tenants around £40million – and could cut carbon emissions by 112,500 tonnes.
“This is a project that not only makes sense for the environment – it makes financial sense too,” said Mr Reynolds.
“The installation of solar panels allows tenants to generate their own energy – and by generating surplus electricity I understand they could save as much as £400 a year.
“Too often it’s those living in the rented sector that face higher energy bills because of a landlord’s failure to address heat loss.
“However this is a ground-breaking scheme that highlights the positive measures that can be adopted by responsible landlords.”
The project was made possible after New Charter Homes signed a deal worth more than £18m with solar installation partners.
Installations – which will involve New Charter’s own building company – will continue over 12 months.
Once complete New Charter Building Company is looking to undertake all on-going maintenance of the systems.
Speaking after the launch of the £18m scheme in August, chief executive of the New Charter Group Ian Munro said: “Our tenants will benefit massively from cheaper fuel bills provided by the technology while reducing our carbon footprint considerably.
“While this technology will help a large number of our tenants, we know that not all homes will be suitable, so we’re looking at other energy saving possibilities for those homes not suitable for solar panels.”