Carmarthenshire County Council has unveiled plans to install solar panels on the roofs of some 2,700 council homes and other council buildings as part of a wide-ranging effort to reduce energy bills.

At a meeting held yesterday, the council’s executive board agreed to side with the ‘rent a roof’ scheme which will see tenants benefit from cheaper electricity bills, while the council will receive income generated from feed-in and export tariffs over the panels’ 20-year lifespan.

The council said it had conducted market testing for the scheme and found almost a third of its housing stock and 17 of its sheltered housing schemes were suitable for solar panels and is now conducting a competitive tender to find a partner for the scheme.

The scheme will also establish a £2.1 million community fund to help tackle wider fuel poverty issues, and the council is currently in the process of preparing the first homes for installation.

“We are committed to helping our tenants save money by improving their homes and have looked at solar PV systems amongst a wider range of sustainable measures to address fuel poverty as part of our Carmarthenshire Homes Standard Plus (CHS+) business plan,” Tegwen Devichand, Carmarthenshire councillor and executive board member for housing, said.

Carmarthenshire becomes the latest council in recent months to eye prospective solar schemes, after North East Lincolnshire and Norfolk councils looked towards installing solar on their own estates last month.