New website makes it easier to install solar panels in Newcastle

Interactive map and some clever use of data means residents and businesses can quickly see how much they might save on energy bills by installing photovoltaic (PV) panels. 

Launched by Newcastle City Council, the GREENER Newcastle site provides information for all properties (both domestic and non-domestic) within Newcastle’s boundary. Users receive estimates on the number of PV panels that could be installed on their property, cost of installation, renewable electricity generated each year, and number of years to pay back the original investment.

gray metal bridge during daytime

Photo by Andy Kelly

The hope is that this data will encourage more people to install solar panels, save money on bills and help the transition to greener energy more widely. The site directs them to details of certified contractors in Newcastle and the North East via the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). 

The site’s interactive map displays different orientation aspects and roof design using data from light detection and ranging (lidar) mapping. This data is used to estimate solar PV potential by looking at factor such as roof size, shape, shading and orientation. The renewable energy generated per year and the costs and savings involved are then estimated – providing a useful first reference for anyone considering the potential of solar PV installation on their property. 

Cllr Jane Byrne, Newcastle City Council Cabinet member for a Connected, Clean City says: ‘Installing solar panels is a great way of generating clean electricity and reducing carbon emissions but we understand the process can be quite daunting. The website supports people every step of the way, providing clear information on the environmental benefits and the long-term savings that can be made, as well as details of qualified contractors who can provide quotes to carry out the work. 

‘With the volatile energy prices we have seen over the past year, now could be a good time to see if your home or business could benefit. As a city we have made a strong commitment to reach net zero by 2030 and installing solar panels is just one of the ways in which we can make our homes and buildings greener and more sustainable.’ 

John Donaldson, from Walker, had seven solar panels installed at his home in February 2023. He says: ‘The installation process was quick and easy, taking around eight weeks for the solar panels to be fitted. It’s great for the environment and will help me to save money on my bills. I would recommend people to use the website to find out the benefits of installing solar panels at their homes.’ 

The GREENER Newcastle site will be expanded later this year to show the locations of electric vehicle (EV) charges points in the city and to provide further information on energy efficiency improvements that can be made to homes to reduce bills. 

In related news: 

London’s £500m fund for net zero

Happier, healthier cities using mapping tech


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