York’s PV panels win national recognition

27 Jun 2013 @ 11.30 am
| News

Left to right: Sharon Brookes, City of York Council’s Head of Building Services holds the certificate while Doreen Lawrence OBE (mother of Stephen Lawrence) presents the Green Apple Awards to Hannah Shaw from NWS. Photograph: City of York Council

Issued by City of York Council

A City of York Council project with PV panel specialists NWS to combat fuel poverty and serve as a national exemplar has won a national award.

This week, The Green Organisation’s Green Apple Award was presented by Doreen Lawrence OBE to NWS which created and completed a ground-breaking, self-funded Solar PV project with City of York Council. A winner in the category of Construction Companies: Energy Efficiency, the project’s key aim was to create a viable model for providing free solar PV installations for housing authorities following the UK government’s reduction of the feed-in-tariff associated with micro-generation systems.

The business plan created opportunities to install green technologies in council tenants’ homes, whilst overcoming the predicted negative outcome of the reduction of the feed-in-tariff. In creating a self-funded business model for the installation of Solar PV, NWS worked with the council to provide tenants who might have not been able to afford the costs of Solar PV with the opportunity to benefit from its advantages.

To date, 8,511 Solar PV systems have been installed on 479 York council homes.

Through this self-funding solar project, NWS has enabled councils to implement a realistic method of reducing their carbon footprint while supporting residents struggling in the current economic climate. For households whose energy costs are equal to or exceed 10% of their total income, installing micro-generation systems such as Solar PV is a vital way of facilitating realistic savings that will enable tenants to escape fuel poverty both now and in future years.

Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, City of York Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Adult Social Care, said: “Affordable energy is an essential component to people’s health and financial wellbeing and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with NWS to bring to life this scheme which is making a quantifiable difference to hundreds of tenant households.

“This example of national best practice will hopefully inspire many other local authorities to access this source of free, renewable energy for the benefit of their communities.”

Russ Cowan, Managing Director of NWS, said: “The NWS Solar PV project with City of York Council enabled us to develop an innovative approach to installing Solar PV with councils throughout the UK. The project demonstrates a unique approach that creates fair and equal access to the benefits of the free electricity and reduced energy costs afforded by the free installation of Solar PV for council tenants.”

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