Walthamstow Council have announced that they will be fitting new solar panels on some of their own buildings along with almost 1,000 of their council homes under a plan to reduce their carbon footprint as well as saving some much needed money.
The authority plan to borrow £9 million to fund the installation of the panels on the homes, which will all be protected by landlord insurance. It has been forecast that all council tenants will make a saving of approximately £110 each year and they have already chosen the most suitable properties in the borough. After installation, electricity used during daylight hours will be free to every home included in the scheme.
Ashley Gunstock, of the Green Party, said “I believe better measures should have been introduced when more money was available. I hate having to sound negative but it is so often too little too late. We should by now be well on the way to better environmental performance. So much more could have been done before the problems with the economy. I am also critical of the coalition for not doing enough to encourage households to use renewable energy sources. I am concerned because the first things to go when there are problems with the economy are environmental measures.”
The council are aware that they need to help older and vulnerable tenants who are struggling to pay both gas and electric bills. It will also give a major boost to the economy as local firms will benefit from the installation and maintenance work on the solar panels. Tenders have already been invited for the first phase of the project. The council buildings being considered for the plan include Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Waltham Forest Town Hall and Sycamore House.