Leeds & West Yorkshire

Leeds City Council solar panel plans "reluctantly" on hold

Plans to install at least 1,000 solar panels on council-owned homes in Leeds have been put on hold indefinitely, Leeds City Council has confirmed.

The council said the project was only possible due to a government subsidy which made a payment for every unit of electricity generated by solar panels.

Last week, the government said it would almost halve that subsidy in December.

The council said the government's decision meant the project was "no longer viable".

'Bad news'

Leeds City Council said it had been planning to install about 1,000 solar panels before March 2012 in order to benefit from the highest "feed-in" subsidies available.

It said the panels could save tenants about £120 a year on their electricity bills.

Neil Evans, Leeds City Council's director for environment and neighbourhoods, said the council had already contacted 2,900 tenants about the possibility of installing solar panels on their homes.

He said the decision to halt the scheme was only taken "reluctantly".

"As the change is coming much sooner than anyone had anticipated, we now, regrettably, have the task of writing to tenants again to let them know that surveys and installations are not going ahead," he said.

"It's disappointing to be the bearer of such bad news."

However, Mr Evans said the council would "continue" to try to improve energy efficiency in council-owned homes and buildings in Leeds.

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