Solar panels for tenants

Berwickshire Housing Association is starting a programme of installing solar panels in 500 homes which should save tenants up to £250 a year.

As the first installations get underway at Boston Court, Duns and Sanderson Way, Eyemouth, BHA’s projects manager Alan Hobbett explained: “BHA will rent the air space above our homes to Edison Energy for the next 20 years under a ‘rent-a-roof’ agreement.

“Edison Energy will fit the solar panels and then maintain them for the period of the agreement. Tenants in the homes where panels have been fitted will be able to use the electricity the panels generate free of charge benefiting from lower electricity bills. Edison Energy will then recover their costs over the contract period through the Government’s Feed in Tariff (FIT) which pays a fixed amount for every unit of electricity generated by the panels.”

Helen Forsyth, BHA chief executive, added: “I am delighted that we are able to offer this benefit to a large number of our tenants as one of our key goals is to help address fuel poverty in our homes.

“The fact BHA can do this at no real cost to the organisation makes it an even better deal as we will never need to raise rents or levy a service charge on these homes just because they have the panels fitted. The nature of solar energy means your roof has to face south or thereabouts, and be large enough to accommodate sufficient panels to make installation viable. As a result we can’t fit panels on all our homes.”