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Lichfield solar panel scheme hailed a success

A scheme to make cheap solar electricity widely available to households in Lichfield has been hailed a success.

The Solar 500 initiative was launched by the Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group (WFEG) and Low Carbon Lichfield (LoCaL) in April and has already seen 20 households sign up to have solar panels installed.

Robin Taylor, chair of LoCaL,  said:

“We are facing a triple whammy of rising energy prices, more imported fossil fuels and climate change. Solar power is a source of vast sources of energy which can help to make us less dependent on imports and more self-reliant while reducing damaging carbon emissions.”

The Williams family celebrate their new solar panels

The Williams family celebrate their new solar panels

More homes are being urged to sign up to the scheme and an open meeting will take place on July 14 at 7.30pm at Wade Street Church Hall. The meeting will allow interested homeowners to ask questions about the scheme, which sees a six-panel solar PV system available to purchase for less than £5,000.

The two groups say the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff for owners means the solar panels could recoup their costs in six to eight years, with homeowners continuing to earn for a total of 25 years.

Lichfield District Council leader Cllr Mike Wilcox said:

“It is very heartening to see our community organisations taking this initiative in such an important field. We are producing our council carbon reduction plan and we believe that the community has a huge role to play in tackling the need to reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel use.”

For more information on the scheme contact Mike Kinghan on mike@wfeg.org.uk or call 01543 432238.

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3 Comments

  1. Foxy

    11th July, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    It’s a shame 5000 is out of reach for many – is there a financing scheme available from the electricity earnings?

    It would be nice to see some panels on local government buildings.

  2. Mike

    11th July, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    We are looking into the possibility of a scheme whereby a company would take a lease on a roof for 25 years, taking the Feed-in Tariff, but allowing the owner the benefit of the free electricity. You can contact me via the details given in the article for more information on this.

    Another alternative is for homeowners to extend their mortgage – payments from the Feed-in Tariff should exceed outgoings from the loan by a fair margin.

  3. Andrea

    11th July, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    Re the panels on local govt buildings – at the meeting to be held on Thursday, there’ll be an opportunity to find out about Southern Staffordshire Community Energy which is looking at installing PV panels on community buildings in South Staffs.