Posted by:23 August, 2011
Times are tough and every opportunity for a local authority to raise revenue must be explored. Ashford’s Cllr Blanford, pictured, explains their use of solar panels not only to increase the local authority’s green credentials but also to earn some revenue.
It is a tough time economically, and we began this financial year with significant cuts in government funding which have had an impact upon the level and range of services we can provide.
Whilst we are committed to providing the best services resources allow, Ashford Borough Council is not alone in having to identify where savings can be made and new ways of generating income.
As part of a borough wide consultation with residents last year, recycling and environment was identified as an area our residents would like to see the council place a greater focus upon.
To address this we have a number of initiatives planned, one of which involves installing solar panels on council-owned properties across the borough.
The recent decision to permit local authorities to sell renewable electricity is a huge opportunity for us, both in financial and environmental terms.
The initiative will potentially provide the borough with an income from any power feed to the National Grid and help reduce the impact of future energy price rises to the council. It also has the potential to reduce electricity bills for tenants in council owned properties with solar panels installed.
The first phase of solar panel installations next year will be on council owned public buildings and a small number of council housing properties with flatted roofs and this could be extended to more council housing and even private properties in the future.
This initiative has the potential to reduce our electricity bills, contribute towards the reduction in fuel poverty and at the same time provide a new funding stream and reduce our carbon footprint. It’s therefore something the council is fully embracing.
Cllr Jessamy Blanford (Con), portfolio holder for the Environment, Ashford BC
Anyone wanting more information about Ashford’s solar panel project can contact Dean Spurrell on 01233 330647 or email@example.com
Share your scheme
Does your council have an example of best practice you can share with your counterparts in other local authorities?
Get in contact now and tell me about them
From The Little Things
LGC’s blog series from local councils on the schemes that make a real difference to their community. Best practice examples from councils for councils.