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Solar panels set to reduce energy use in 1,200 council homes

More than 1,200 homes in a dozen city communities are to get solar panels on their roofs to help them generate electricity and reduce the cost of energy.

craig cefn park properties bungalows

Around £26m has been set aside for the four-year project which will see work start on council houses this summer.

The scheme will include installing PV solar panels and batteries to generate and store energy for electric power and light which can be used by individual residents on demand.

More than 30 council properties in rural areas not on mains gas will also get an insulation upgrade and be provided with a heat pump to provide a low carbon heating alterative to existing oil, coal or LPG installations.

Andrea Lewis, Joint Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Service Transformation, said the initiative is being funded from council housing rents and grants from Welsh Government.

She said: "At a time when budgets are tight, the cost of energy is rising and there's clear demand to tackle climate change, this will help families not only during the cost of living crisis, but also for years to come.

"The investment will be part of wider action to insulate homes as part of our annual planned maintenance programmes."

The council has already retrofitted a number of bungalows in Craig Cefn Parc so they can generate electricity as part of a 'homes as power stations' initiative being pioneered by the council in collaboration with Cardiff University and the Welsh Government.

Cllr Lewis said: "This latest initiative means 1,245 council homes in Swansea are due to have solar power support within four years. They'll help contribute to our ambition to be a carbon net zero council by 2030 and become a carbon net zero city by 2050.

"By retrofitting existing council houses with energy-saving equipment and improving insulation, we'll be helping families and households reduce energy consumption, modernise our properties and manage their bills.

"This programme is on top of our More Homes initiative which is aiming to build 1,000 new energy-efficient council properties within a decade - the biggest council housebuilding project for a generation."

As with all council building and regeneration projects, as much of the investment as possible will be spent locally, protecting and creating local jobs and apprenticeships.

Work is set to start on the solar panel projects on more than 330 homes in Sketty Park, 232 in West Cross, 214 in Waunarlwydd and 102 in Penyrheol.

Upgrades have also been earmarked for council houses in other areas including Morriston, Fforestfach, Craig Cefn Parc, Garnswllt and Clydach.

It's anticipated that the improvement programme will be extended in future years, subject to further funding support from Welsh Government.

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