More than 1,300 low-income families to receive solar panels and free energy, if Labour Party is voted in

PUBLISHED: 15:00 19 May 2019

Solar panel installation

Solar panel installation


More than one thousand low-income families will benefit from having solar panels on their roof - helping to alleviate the cost of energy.

This is the promise of the Labour Party if they gain control of Government.

The plans, which would cost an estimated £2.14billion, include the installation of solar panels on around 1,314 homes in East Devon. This is roughly 16,000 panels, covering 25,000 square metres of rooftops.

It would come as part of a national drive which aims to provide households with free energy , saving them an average of £117 a year on bills, rising to £270 for retired households.

Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says the policy could relieve pressure on low-income families while supporting new industries in neglected parts of the country.

Social housing makes up 10 per cent of East Devon's 68,000 homes - around 6,500 properties in total.

Labour estimates this means solar panels would be installed at 1,314 properties in the area

They also plan to invest £350million over 15 years on interest free loans, grants and regulatory changes to help an additional 750,000 properties install solar panels.

Labour estimates its policy will create 16,900 jobs and save 7.1million tonnes of carbon dioxide - equivalent to taking four million cars off the UK's roads.

Under plans announced by Mr Corbyn and Rebecca Long Bailey, the shadow business, energy and industrial strategy secretary, a Labour government would fit one million social properties and homes of low-income families across the UK with solar panels.

Any unused electricity generated by the programme would be used by the National Grid, which Labour plans to take into public ownership - raising an additional £66million per year for local authorities.

The policy, which would be funded as part of Labour's National Transformation Fund, the party has said.

Mr Corbyn said: "In this country, too often people are made to feel like the cost of saving the planet falls on them.

"Too many think of green measures as just another way for companies or the Government to get money out of them, while the rich fly about in private jets and heat their empty mansions.

"Labour's approach is different. Our green industrial revolution will benefit working class people with cheaper energy bills, more rewarding, well-paid jobs, and new industries to revive the parts of our country that have been held back for far too long.

"By focusing on low-income households we will reduce fuel poverty and increase support for renewable energy."

Leonie Greene, from the Solar Trade Association, said: "All modern political parties must think big when it comes to empowering people to act on the biggest issue of our times - climate change.

"The solar industry would relish scaling up rapidly to deliver on these commendable ambitions which would see deployment rates double compared to the past decade.

"A solar homes push would give a tremendous boost to green jobs across the UK, which are good quality and local in nature.

"We are particularly pleased to see Labour's focus on social housing, since solar can save households potentially hundreds of pounds off their energy bills.

"Current policies deter those who need solar the most from accessing it, which is a great shame."

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