Solar installation helps Pembury Estate alleviate fuel poverty

Pembury Estate, a community devastated by riots last summer, has had solar panels installed on all south-facing blocks of the estate.

The estate in Hackney, London, has had 1,874 solar PV panels installed by EDF energy. The £1 million installation is expected to help reduce tenants’ electricity bills by up to £150 a year.

The Pembury estate project forms part of Peabody Trust’s wider green energy scheme, which is looking to invest £23 million in renewable energy generation across its property portfolio.

The 400kWp installation is expected to save 170 tonnes of carbon dioxide from being emitted a year and crucially, help alleviate the financial pressure from tenants living in fuel poverty.

Government proposals to cut the feed-in tariff rate for community and aggregated schemes have meant that Peabody have accelerated the rate of installs to maximise deployment before the cuts come into force. Responding to the slashing of the feed-in tariff scheme, Peabody Chief Executive, Steve Howlett said: “We will not be able to deliver our solar programme as first planned, leaving thousands of Peabody homes without solar panels.

“Many of our residents will have lost the valuable energy savings that the panels would have generated, putting them at increased risk of fuel poverty.

“My big concern is that this move means solar panels will become the preserve of the rich, rather than a way to tackle fuel poverty and reduce living costs for those in our society who are most vulnerable.”

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