Northamptonshire council eyes solar panels for Corby council houses

Northamptonshire County Council is set to give plans to put solar panels on the roofs of council houses in Corby the go-ahead in a bid to cut energy prices.

Councillors will meet tomorrow and are expected to open the doors to energy firms to bid to supply and install the panels to a number of properties in Corby after receiving enquiries from a number of companies across Europe about the plans.

The scheme has been planned for spring 2011 and would mean residents would benefit from free electricity during the day.

Corby Borough Council would be the first Northamptonshire local authority to make a large scale switch to solar as it aims to reap the benefits of the solar electricity Feed-in Tariff (FIT) which pays households a certain rate for the amount of energy they generate using on-site small-scale renewable technologies including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and wind turbines.

Chris Mallender, Corby Borough Council's Chief Executive, said: "It's one of those deals that sounds too good to be true but in truth it's part of the push to generate more electricity from renewables and reduce carbon".

The proposals have been made possible by a recent government decision to allow councils to sell back electricity they generate to the grid.

Tomorrow's councillor meeting will be the start of the process of deciding which supplier and installer will be used with the operation set to go-ahead in under six months time.

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