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Plymouth Council looks to solar in city energy efficiency plan

  • Plymouth council  

    Plymouth County Council is considering using solar panels to combat the escalating council costs. Image credit: geograph.co.uk

Solar panels could be installed on Plymouth City Council buildings as part of an energy efficiency scheme due to be considered by the Devon authority.

If approved, the project is estimated to be complete within the next four years and could generate sufficient savings to prevent a planned increase in council tax of £13 per household bill.

The first action for the programme would be to install solar panels on 14 more council buildings, on the top of the four that already have PV units, saving the authority an estimated £7,000 to £11,000 annually.

The council also plans to replace around 28,000 sodium street lamps with higher efficiency LED lights, decreasing the Council's street lighting expenses by 70%.

Another element of the proposed project would see old energy inefficient boilers in use across the council replaced.

Mark Lowry, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “These projects are about saving the council tax payer a lot of money and therefore protecting frontline services. Of course they also have considerable other benefits, making our city a safer and more environmentally friendly place to live and work and they contribute to our commitment to cut emissions from our buildings.”

The council is also looking to set up an energy co-operative to negotiate lower bills for its resident members.

The authority’s cabinet will consider the plans next week.

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