After winning the final round of the British Gas Green Streets challenge in November 2009, the village of Llangattock is now being prepared for the first of a possible 50 solar photovoltaic panel installations.

The Llangattock Green Valleys project won the Welsh final of the competition to cut carbon emissions, bagging the first prize of £140,000. The plan is to install solar panels on the Brecon Beacon homes as well as introducing a micro-hydro scheme to supply 60% of the area’s electricity.

The first of the solar PV systems is currently being installed at the home of the Butterfield family, who will be able to generate around 50% of their electricity needs from their renewable energy system.

Lee Barlow, the Green Streets project manager said, “Some of the householders involved in the challenge are opting for better insulation, or to replace old, inefficient boilers, which are two of the key things that can really help you save energy.

“But the Butterfield family live in a modern, well-insulated house, and they've already done pretty much everything they can do to reduce their energy use – so generating their own clean energy was the next logical step.”

The Butterfields' system will cost a total of £6,500 – with £4,000 coming from the green streets funding and £2,500 from a grant from the Low Carbon Buildings Programme.

Michael Butterfield said, “We started our personal energy-saving journey four years ago, and at that point we were using around 4,000kW of electricity a year.

“With some simple changes we've managed to cut this right back – and this year we're expecting to use only around 1,600kW.”

The British Gas Green Streets challenge is investing £2m in 14 UK communities to help support innovative energy-saving projects and carbon reduction. It is hoped that more than 50 of Llangattock's 420 homes will be fitted with PV panels by the end of the year, with at least 10 funded through the Green Streets challenge, and 41 via a partnership between Powys council and British Gas.