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Free solar panels offered for all Peterborough homes

A scheme to install solar panels on homes in Peterborough free of charge is being rolled out across the city in a rush to beat a proposed government tariff cut.

Residents are being urged to act quickly as the panels must be installed by the end of the year, when the scheme will now end.

The short time frame follows a government announcement to significantly reduce the Feed-in Tariff rates for solar PV installations at the start of 2016.

The scheme is a partnership between Peterborough City Council and Empower Community, a social enterprise, and was expected to be introduced across Peterborough at a later date.

A separate agreement has been signed with Axiom Housing Association to fit solar panels on their properties.

Residents will not pay anything towards the cost of installing and maintaining the solar panels.

They will benefit from an expected energy saving of roughly £200 every year and receive £100 every five years, for 20 years, for having the panels on their roof.

A community fund has also been established that benefits from a percentage of the money the scheme generates.

That fund could total around £1m over the 20 years if residents act quickly and panels are installed on 1,500 properties.

In addition, the council would expect to generate in the region of £1m during the same period if this number was achieved.

The first thing residents need to do is to register their interest. Following this, they will be contacted and each roof will be assessed for suitability and ability to connect to the electricity network.

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