Solar panels could be fitted to 5,000 Northampton council houses and "save tenants £200 each year"

Solar panels could be installed on 5,000 homes in Northampton.
Solar panels could be installed on 5,000 homes in Northampton.

More than 5,000 homes in Northampton could be fitted with a "free" solar panel if a bid to go into partnership with a private energy firm is approved by the borough council.

Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) has made an agreement-in-principle with green firm Saliis to install the lenses on thousands of social housing properties on the borough.

The management organisation says the panels will be installed "free of charge" to a selection of council house tenants and could reduce energy bills by up to £200 a year.

Chief executive of NPH Mike Kay, told the Chron: “This initiative, if approved by Northampton Borough Council, is a fantastic opportunity to tackle fuel poverty in Northampton.

"In the initial phase, up to 5,000 households will benefit from reduced energy bills and, at the same time, we will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the homes we manage."

NPH says the installations would be carried out "by geographical area."

However the photovoltaic cell scheme, being titled "PV for free," will only get the go-ahead if it is approved by Northampton Borough Council's cabinet on Wednesday (February 8).

Papers to the cabinet committee state the cost of providing, installing and maintaining the panels will be met by Saliis, after 20 years, ownership of the panels will transfer to the council.

Once in the council's ownership circa 2037, the solar panels will generate income by supplying energy to the National Grid as well as generating "surplus profits for the local community" the cabinet report states.

The community profit will be shared equally between the council, which has to ensure all funds are credited to its housing revenue account, and a local community fund.

Executive director at Saliis, Kirk Rogers, said: “We are delighted at the prospect of being able to deliver cheaper, greener energy to the people of Northampton.

"We have already successfully delivered a number of similar projects and been thrilled with the genuine benefits a programme like this can bring to communities.”

Council members will consider the PV programme at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, February 6, at 6pm.