Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Babergh: Cash for solar panels in Babergh council budget

11:32 11 March 2014

Babergh councillor Frank Lawrenson

Babergh councillor Frank Lawrenson

Archant

People in fuel poverty could be helped in the future by a pioneering green energy scheme.

shares

Babergh District Council want to install solar panels on all council owned properties and recently included spending for this in its budget.

And councillor Frank Lawrenson said if it proved successful he wants it expanded to help anyone struggling to heat their home.

The scheme would see panels installed on more then 2,000 buildings which would both heat them and earn money for the council.

As one of the councillors involved in planning the scheme Mr Lawrenson said he was pleased it had reached the stage where money had been set aside for it.

“I can’t begin to describe how happy I am about it,” Mr Lawrenson said.

“When you become a councillor you hope you can have some sort of meaningful and lasting impact on your community.

“To my mind to be able to propose this and put it forward and it to be happening in my first term, it’s amazing. I don’t think that’s ever something I was really expecting.

“If this works I would then like to see it rolled out to more people in fuel poverty.”

Mr Lawrenson added the council would also get a boost from the panels’ installation.

“Because it’s a profitable exercise it will contribute a significant proportion of funding to the council,” he said.

“We could be talking about contributing 10% to the (council’s) budget. It feels like a win, win, win situation. Nobody’s been able to find any downsides because no one could find any reason to object to it. It’ll be wonderful.”

Along with the benefits to both the council and its tenants Mr Lawrenson says he is excited by the prospect of Babergh leading the way and other organisations following suit.

“To instigate a project of this size, others will be watching it,” he said.

“I would like to think this could happen all over the country.”

There is also the chance the installation of such a large number of solar panels could help Babergh become a carbon-neutral council, something Mr Lawrenson said would be “extraordinary”.

shares

3 comments

  • Mr Whalley - although solar pv is subsidised it only amounts to 0.15% on the average bill. I'd suggest that's an insignificant subsidy rather than a heavy one. I think the Councils idea of putting the on council properties is a great way of trying to ensure more fuel poor households benefit and are protected from future rises. Can't quite see how they could generate the income that they are suggesting but I think they should be congratulated rather than criticised!

    Report this comment

    M H

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • " It feels like a win, win, win situation. Nobody’s been able to find any downsides because no one could find any reason to object to it. It’ll be wonderful.” Except that solar panels are heavily subsidised, with the subsidy paid for on other people's electricity bills who do not have solar installations. It is mostly the lower income groups who lose out in this way. Thus, Babergh council have instituted a 'wonderful' scheme to take money from poorer billpayers and use it to subsidise the better off. Solar panels only contribute on average 16% of their peak capacity to the grid. So even here we lose out again by trying to rely on expensive low productivity systems, rather than cheap conventional sources. Not win-win, councillor Lawrenson, but lose-lose.

    Report this comment

    Steven Whalley

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

  • So what Mr Lawrenson is apparently proposing is a system to heat our homes when the sun is shining, which it does anyway. Then when we need the heat in the evenings, there is no solar power. Also, in winter when we need the heat the most, the days are short and the evenings long, with minimal solar power contribution. Essentially this is an expensive system for giving us heat when we do not want it, and not giving us power when we do. How does this help anybody?

    Report this comment

    Steven Whalley

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Shelley Singh

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 30-year-old woman from Sudbury.

Paul Flatman has been sentenced after more than 6,000 chickens died at Hawksmill Farm

A farmer has been ordered to pay more than £12,000 and has been given a suspended prison sentence for failing to follow animal welfare advice.

Gerald West leaves Ipswich Crown Court

Oakwood School’s former deputy head teacher and one of its care workers have been given 12-month conditional discharges for assaulting pupils.

The old Oakwood School in Stowmarket.

The former headteacher of a Suffolk school has been jailed for seven years for sexual offences against children.

The company of Slice of Saturday Night

There was an Emile Zola quote on the front of the programme for West Suffolk College’s production of 60s musical, A Slice of Saturday Night: “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

Colchester High Street

Two sisters have been charged in connection with the theft of an 89-year-old woman’s purse in Colchester.

Abby Curtis who is opening Pump and Grind coffee shop in Great Colman Street with Tom Kerridge

The business team behind a new cafe have said they are disappointed they will not able to serve alcohol when opening for the first time on Saturday.

An aerial picture of Blythburgh

Police are attempting to trace the driver of a sandy-coloured large saloon-style car following a criminal damage incident on the A12.

Image issued by the British Geological Survey of a graphic showing where an earthquake struck in Sandwich, Kent. Photo: British Geological Survey

Earth tremors have been felt in Suffolk and Essex after a 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck Kent.

The crash on the A12 near Wickham Market.

A lorry and van crashed on the A12 near Wickham Market after a blow-out tyre puncture.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages