Council houses in Blackpool could soon boast solar panels in a bid to help tenants save on their energy bills.
Blackpool Coastal Housing (BCH), which manages the homes on behalf of the council, is poised to install solar panels on around 20 properties as part of a trial scheme.
More than £2m is also being invested in the next three years in more than 1,000 new boilers which will also be more energy efficient.
Coun Adrian Hutton, chairman of Blackpool Coastal Housing, said: “We know cheaper energy bills make a real difference to the daily lives of our tenants and we are committed to investing wisely to improve the energy performance of our properties.
“In July a pilot scheme for solar and photo voltaic panels will commence so we can fully assess the cost effectiveness of this type of technology on our properties and see what savings are delivered to the tenants over the winter.
“This scheme is being carried out in-house to ensure the profit made from excess energy being fed back into the national grid remains with our tenants and BCH and not a private developer.
We know cheaper energy bills make a real difference
“We also have a programme of boiler replacements, which will result in the majority of our properties having state of the art heating systems delivering lower heating bills for our tenants. Where we build new houses energy efficiency is key and on the Queens Park scheme the investment is such that tenants will see some of the lowest energy bills in the town.”
Blackpool ‘needs to catch up’ on energy
Coun Tony Williams, leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, has called for more use of solar panels.
He said: “Solar panel systems are currently being fitted on many council houses across the country.
“In the case of new build properties, councils have begun to install the panels directly, in some instances, replacing conventional roofing such as tiles and slates.”
Coun Williams added: “Additionally, existing tenants in many areas have been given the chance to put their name down for an installation of solar panels.
“The reason being that more local councils than ever are keen to go green and help the government meet its carbon emissions targets.
“Blackpool needs to catch up and start to help council tenants to save what could potentially be up to £750 per year on their energy bills.
“The council should also be insisting that developers of new council contracted housing estates should be fitting these units as standard.”