Bury Council has installed solar as part of its ongoing commitment to reduce its carbon emissions and make vital cash savings.

The council aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 35 percent by 2014, based on 2008/9 levels. As a result, solar panels have been installed on the roof of The Villa at the council’s Bradley Fold depot.

The solar panels are one of the actions identified in its carbon management plan. The panels will save 1.8 tonnes of carbon a year – enough to fill four double-decker buses.

The council were able to install the panels before the feed-in tariff rate plummeted on December 12. The council spent £11,287 on the installation of the panels, which are expected to provide an income and savings of £1,600 per year, which means that the scheme will pay for itself in seven years.

Councillor Tony Isherwood, Executive Member for Environment and Economy, said: “It's not often you have a win-win situation, but this is certainly one. The project is good for the environment, and good for local taxpayers.

“Although the Government is looking at reducing tariff levels this year, solar panels are still expected to provide a reasonable return on investment and deliver a significant reduction in carbon emissions, so we will be considering installing them at other council buildings.”