Council installs 195 solar panels on own roof

The array will reduce North Kesteven District Council’s electricity bill by 21%, pay for itself in under seven years and save more than 14 tonnes of CO2 per year. 

Solar panels are proving increasingly popular. That’s no surprise given the increasing price of energy, let alone wider efforts to reduce our environmental impact in an effort to halt climate change. But North Kesteven District Council is leading by example in having a sizeable array of 195 solar panels installed on its own roof.

architectural photography of blue and white solar panel

Installation has cost £152,000, drawn from the councils ‘Invest to Save’ fund for projects that reduce the council’s long-term overheads. 

That might seem a lot given the current squeeze on council budgets but the array is expected to save almost £22,500 on energy bills per year and pay for itself in some 6.7 years. Beyond that, any money saved can be ploughed back into improving services for local residents and businesses. 

Although the council’s executive board unanimously agreed last year to have the panels installed, the project was a little more complex than expected. The council occupies Lafford Terrace, a Grade II listed building completed in 1856. Planning restrictions applied, and 35 panels had to be removed from the initial plan. 

The new array greatly extends a small, existing set of solar panels, and adds to other modifications to the building to make it more sustainable. 

Cllr Richard Wright, Council Leader, says: ‘We’re keeping to our commitment to reach net zero carbon from energy by 2030 and expanding our use of renewables to help us get there. With energy costs rising for all of us, this is an investment in the future that will save us money in the long term, money that we can put back into local services.’ 

Phil Roberts, Deputy Chief Executive of the council adds: ‘There’s two main reasons that we’ve done this: to enhance the council’s climate change strategy and save money over the longer term. It will save in the region of 14.3 tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to planting over 650 trees. 

‘We hope it’s something that will stand the test of time and something that other organisations and businesses will take a close interest in.’ 

Cllr Wright adds: ‘I’d encourage everyone to look at what they can do to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and homes. You can save money and help keep us on track for net zero by 2030. Take a look at our website for information about support schemes for businesses and households.’ 

In related news, the solar array on the roof of a Bristol film and TV studio building has won the Global Production Award.

Photo by Jadon Kelly


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