Nottingham City Council has led the way in terms of local authority involvement in solar energy – and warns against any dimming of Government support for the sector.
With over 3,000 homes in social housing having solar panels, as well as its housing stock, the council has been installing solar panels at its sport and leisure sites. Nottingham Tennis Centre was the first leisure centre to get solar panels followed recently by the newly redeveloped Harvey Hadden Sports Village. Harvey Hadden boasts the first UK’s first publicly-owned car park to have a solar canopy. This year the council achieved another solar first when the Energy Infrastructure Team became the first local authority service to become qualified solar installers.
The council invests in solar power as it helps to safeguard against fuel poverty through free electricity for tenants, lowers the running costs of public buildings such as leisure centres and brings income to the council via the Feed in Tariff (FITs).
The Department for Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) recent announcement that they will be reviewing the FITs tariff has led to an accelerated delivery programme and Nottingham City Council has a significant number of installations planned for the last quarter of the year. The council is in a strong position to make the most of any subsidies available for this sector to reduce cost of energy bills and carbon emissions and to increase energy security for the city.
Nottingham has seen a huge take-up in solar power, with over 4,000 homes within the city fitted with solar panels. There is also a thriving solar power industry within Nottingham and an experienced and skilled workforce has been developed.
Councillor Alan Clark, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Energy and Sustainability, said: “The solar sector has come such long way, following significant investment from the Government until now. The UK and Nottingham particularly have built such a strong skills base it would be senseless to stop now. Solar power is an important part of Nottingham City Council’s strategy to reduce fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. We will be taking part in the Government consultation to ensure that they are fully aware of the impact should they decide not to further support this industry.
“Once again the Government is making a U-turn on its efforts to tackle fuel poverty and lower carbon emissions and not giving any indication of how it plans to achieve these objectives.”
For further information please contact Ruth Stallwood, Nottingham City Council Communications Team, on 0115 876 2900 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Nottingham is the most energy self-sufficient City in the UK and is one of the few cities to have developed a City-wide energy strategy based on green energy production.
It is a priority of the council to deliver low carbon energy efficiency programmes across the city, which supports real money-saving schemes for citizens and businesses in both domestic housing and commerce.
Nottingham City Council alongside key partners will take a leading role in the development of a domestic energy efficiency programme across the City.
In addition, it is a priority to create jobs for local people in a growing and innovative environmental sector, and to ensure that everyone understands the environmental challenge and how we can play our part in responding to it.