A number of buildings in the town of Edenbridge in Kent could soon benefit from solar panel installations following a council plan to install the renewable technology on properties in their possession.
According to the Edenbridge Courier, public approval has been given for the scheme, which will see six of the council's buildings installed with photovoltaics to improve energy efficiency and to reduce running costs over a long period of time.
The local sports pavilion in the area is one of the sites that could benefit, with the council looking to make a decision about how large a system they should install.
A system of 15.75 kW would cost in the region of £25,000 and planning permission is not necessary for the installation. This could generate £40,500 in a 20-year period. However, whereas a larger 28 kW system would require planning permission, the £36,000 investment could see returns of £72,000 in the same time.
In addition to using the energy generated to help power the buildings, it could also be sent back into the National Grid, which will see the council making money via the feed-in tariff.
Edenbridge councillor Mark Robson said: "I think it's an excellent idea in more ways than one and if I could afford them I would have them on my home."
However, Mr Robson could potentially have his own allocation of solar panels if he really wanted to. By accessing the government's Green Deal, he could see the technology installed on his property with the upfront costs of the system and the technology paid for. Return of the loan would be paid back through the savings made on energy bills.
Edenbridge is the latest local authority to take advantage of solar panels, with councils across the country understanding the benefits of renewable energy. This could be in terms of helping to cut the energy bills of the town's residents or in reducing council outgoings in publicly owned buildings through smaller energy bills.