Bournemouth Council housing is all set for a solar makeover as a proposal to install photovoltaic panels on 200 homes receives positive feedback. Following the successful roll-out of a number of solar systems in the area over the past two months, Cabinet members are being asked to extend the area’s renewable ambition.

A total of 50 homes across the borough are already benefitting from solar energy as part of Bournemouth Borough Council’s commitment to becoming a greener town. By generating renewable energy at home, council tenants are able to benefit from reduced electricity bills as well as cutting CO2 emissions.

The scheme is funded by borrowing from the Council’s Housing Revenue Account (HRA). Any income generated from the feed-in tariff will be reinvested into improving and building more housing in Bournemouth.

Councillor Robert Lawton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment said, “This is a fantastic scheme for the borough and clearly demonstrates our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint in Bournemouth. We are one of the first authorities in the South to install solar panels on our housing and other council buildings. By carrying out a further 200 installations as part of the pilot scheme we will be able to gain more knowledge and expertise about the PV industry which will allow us to make more informed decisions for any larger programme of work in the future.”

“Following the pilot scheme, we will be looking to roll it out more widely to include all council housing, care homes and schools. The overall investment could potentially be £22 million with £12million of savings by way of cheaper electricity bills and £15 million by way of an income from the Government’s feed-in tariff,” he continued.

Building Maintenance, the council’s in-house workforce, will be the main installer working in close partnership with Mouchel, the authority’s incremental partner.

Earlier this week Bournemouth Airport connected its 74kW solar installation at the new departures lounge, which secured its place as Europe's first carbon neutral airport building.