Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Council partnership ofers discounted solar panel water heating

A PARTNERSHIP has been formed between West Somerset Council, Climate Energy, and Eco-Exmoor to ensure that providing homes with hot water will not cost the earth.
The partnership is offering grants of up to £900 toward the costs of installing domestic solar hot water systems.
The scheme aims to benefit the environment by harnessing the sun’s rays for domestic hot water, and to bring down fuel bills for homeowners in West Somerset.
A council spokesman said, “As a council, one of our corporate priorities is to protect the environment for future generations.
“This grant funding is available to all local homeowners, regardless of income.
“Applicants are not means tested and we are encouraging people to apply now, so that they can reap the rewards this summer.
“We are currently living through times of erratic fuel supplies and solar panels reduce our dependency on foreign fuel providers.
“It also keeps money in the local economy.
“We would like to run this scheme again in future, so we need this year’s grants to be used to demonstrate a need for more funding.”
The partnership can provide £500 toward the installation costs and can potentially attract a further £400 from the Department of Trade and Industry’s low carbon building programme which, when combined, can reduce the overall price by 35 per cent.
One resident, Roger Thomas, of Alcombe, who has had solar panels fitted by Eco-Exmoor under the scheme, said: “I only had the system installed in December and it is already working and heating water in the boiler.
“Previously, I saw my gas bill going up and up and I thought it was just getting silly.
“I reckon that with the panels, I will be making real savings from the end of March until the end of October.”
Andy Barrett, from Eco Exmoor, said: “Our systems use the highest quality components and they are guaranteed for 10 years by an independent underwriter.
“All of our installers are accredited, vetted, and monitored, so our customers can have full peace of mind.
“Domestic solar hot water is an excellent way in which householders can help protect the environment while saving money.
“Households can slash their carbon emissions by three-quarters of a ton every year, as well as reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
“It is an excellent alternative for householders who live in areas that are not on mains gas.”
More information on the scheme is available by calling free on 0800 0966356 or visiting
  • Our photograph shows Andy Barrett (left) and Roger Thomas outside a property fitted with solar panels. Photo submitted.

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