Bid to make homes warmer and cut bills

A LOCAL council is cracking down on energy efficiency.

Councillors are set to discuss proposals that will improve the living standards of County Durham residents by providing solar power, warmer homes and lower fuel bills.

Durham County Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve the moves to maximise existing and future external funding opportunities to help cut energy costs and tackle fuel poverty when they meet next Wednesday.

Following a decision by the cabinet in March to invest £6m installing solar panels on a large number of council buildings to generate income and reduce electricity bills, the council is looking to develop renewable energy schemes for social housing tenants, and is initially looking to install panels on up to 3,000 south-facing properties.

Coun Clive Robson, cabinet member for housing, said: “Solar panels reduce carbon emissions as they convert sunlight into electricity for use in the home, making the scheme financially attractive, all the more so over its 25-year lifetime as a Feed-in Tariff allows electricity to be sold back to the National Grid.

“We have a vital role to play in delivering a real change in living standards over the coming years and these initiatives show our commitment to improving the quality of life for our residents.”