Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 27°C

min temp: 16°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

The incident happened on the A12

A lane on the A12 at the Foxhall roundabout near Martlesham is blocked following a three-vehicle crash.

Bolts of lightning during the storms above Ipswich in the early hours of Saturday, pictured by Tina Boniface

Fierce lightning storms swept over Suffolk and Essex last night.

John McGuire

A 25-year-old man who went missing from a mental health unit in Colchester has been found safe and well.

Mounted police officers patrol on the beach of  Sousse, Tunisia. Inset image of Stuart Cullen.

The body of Suffolk man Stuart Cullen, one of 38 people killed in the Tunisian terror attack, is being returned to Britain today.

National Lottery winners pictured helping out on a build at Black Notley Community Association in Braintree, Essex. Pictured are the team working hard in the sunshine to complete the job.

Lottery winners with a combined worth of £25million mucked in to help create a holiday haven in Black Notley.

Suffolk county councillor Lisa Chambers

More than 90% of parents in Suffolk have had their first-choice places accepted for their children starting school this September, it has been revealed.

Actor, Dudley Sutton, who plays William Makepeace in Emmerdale and was Tinker in Lovejoy, will be exhibiting his art work at the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout.

Perhaps best known for his long and distinguished acting career, Dudley Sutton harbours myriad other talents – some of which are displayed on the coast today.

The police helicopter was deployed to help the search.

Concern is growing for a man who is missing from the Cambian Fairview Hospital in Colchester.

There has been 64 serious motorcycle crashes in Essex

A major campaign is being launched to educate motorcyclists as the number of serious crashes involving riders on Essex roads continues to rise.

Hundreds of families gathered at Portman Road to watch the outdoor screening of Frozen.

Portman Road was transformed to a world of snowflakes and ice despite the 26C (78.8F) sunshine this morning.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages