In Brief

Free solar panels for 800,000 low-income homes

Reports say the £1bn government scheme will create more than 1,000 new jobs

Solar panels will be fitted to low-income homes across England and Wales as part of a £1bn government scheme.

According to Alphr, renewable energy firm Solarplicity will partner with social housing providers to install free solar panels for more than 800,000 low-income households “within the next five years”, to help reduce energy spending. 

Solarplicity claims the move could save residents £240 on their energy bill per year - a total annual saving of around £192m. 

Engadget says the deal "is set to create over 1,000 new jobs for people”, many of whom “will be tasked with installing and maintaining the panels”. These positions will first be “offered to military veterans”, who will also receive training “for new maintenance careers”.

More than 290,000 solar panels will be fitted on homes in the Northwest, in towns such as Bradford and Oldham, says BBC News. A “significant number” of homes in the Northeast and Midlands will also benefit from the scheme. 

Along with the free panels, says HuffPost, residents will get “smart meters that show exactly how much energy you’re using throughout the day”, as well as being offered advice on “using low-energy LED bulbs”. 

It’s “by far and away the largest renewable energy scheme of its kind in the UK”, the website claims, and has been bolstered by a £160m investment from Dutch firm Maas Capital. 

The first 100,000 homes are expected to get solar panels by the end of 2018, says Alphr. 

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