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02 August 2010

Free solar panels and cheaper bill offered in exchange for use of roof by electricity firm

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Thousands of homeowners are being offered the chance to loan their roofs to a solar power firm in return for cheaper electricity bills.

Householders who agree to having the panels installed free of charge will see their bills fall by up to two thirds.
But those who do opt for the scheme must agree to keep the expansive power cells on their roofs for 25 years and allow access for maintenance.

The move by firm Isis Solar means people who can’t afford the typical £10,000 cost of installing their own solar panels can go green without digging into their pockets.

It takes advantage of a Government scheme that pays renewable energy firms a set amount for every unit of electricity they generate.

Isis Solar, who are paid 41.3p per kilowatt-hour of electricity, could expect to earn £1,100 per roof each year. In turn, homeowners, who must have a south-facing roof with at least 24 square metres of unshaded space to qualify, would receive a reduced bill for the energy they use.

The surplus electricity generated would be fed into the grid. Isis Solar plan to install an array of 3.3kwh panels on 18,000 houses within five years. Lawrence Buckley, its director, told The Times: ‘We aim to make domestic solar energy as accessible to as many people as possible, not just the few who have up-front cash.’

The Government scheme, which costs £8billion over 20 years, has, however, been criticised for being expensive.
It is set to cost all electricity customers an extra £8.50 a year on their bills.

(Daily Mail)

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