Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Sunny Views in the Local Paper

Reader Letters Examiner letters, June 9

SOME months ago I wrote to Kirklees Council leader Clr Mehboob Khan regarding solar panels for my home. His answer was that the council would give me an interest-free loan.

Thanks, I said, but I can’t afford an interest-free loan and the energy bills are getting more costly. Can I have one of those panels that I am paying for out of my council tax that you are fitting free to council houses?

All went quiet on the western front.

Fairness never comes into it. It is all about party appeasement at the cost to the taxpayer. So, Mike Warren-Madden, do not hold your breath. Suffocation is final. They can talk the talk about saving energy but cannot walk the walk when it comes to handing it out.

R J Bray


Here comes the sun

MIKE Warren-Madden (I want a solar panel too, Mailbag, June 4) can certainly ‘Talk the talk.’

In fact, I doubt if there’s a donkey with a full set of legs within 10 miles of Brockholes.

But when it comes to ‘walking the walk,’ he clearly prefers to let others put the effort in. With that in mind, might I ask him a question about his latest letter?

Mike, you asked about who might get solar panels. Have you done anything to try to find out? Have you tried to contact Clr Andrew Cooper about it? Have you written, phoned, or left an email for him?

My guess is that you haven’t.

R A Vant


Cost of ‘free’ energy

MIKE Warren-Madden wrote regarding the Green Party’s proposal┼á to pursue a free solar panel installation scheme for householders in Kirklees.

He asks if it will just be for council house tenants and if council taxpayers will end up paying the bill. The answer to both these questions is No.

The scheme we are proposing will be paid for through the Clean Energy Cashback introduced in May this year. This is a tariff available to anyone who installs solar panels from their energy companies.

So, very roughly, if you were to install solar electricity panels at a cost between £8,000 to £10,000 on your home it would give you about £25,000 back over the 25 years that the tariff would be available for.

Of course, a lot of people haven’t got access to that sort of money, particularly at the moment. The role of the council would be to install the panels for free but to take a proportion of the Clean Energy Cashback to pay for the full costs of the installation and any interest.

Households would still get the benefit of the electricity from the solar panels in their home, saving them between £150 and £200 a year.┼áThe solar panels wouldn’t replace your grid-supplied electricity but mean you will need less of it.

The proposal stacks up financially. The next issue we have to address is ensuring that the legal issues of signing over the Clean Energy Cashback are dealt with and then going through a tender process to get qualified installers.

Once this is done I envisage it would be delivered in much the same way as the free insulation scheme that the Green Party proposed. Assessors would go door-to-door to assess the suitability of the property for the solar panels and, if all is OK, then a few weeks later the panels would be installed.

So this scheme would save money, save energy, reduce carbon emissions, create skilled jobs and not cost the council taxpayer an additional penny.

Mike asks if we can install one at his house as soon as possible. Well, I’m not saying it’s going to be tomorrow but we’re on with it. If he, or anyone else, has any more questions, either contact me directly or through the Examiner letters column if that’s what you prefer.

Clr Andrew Cooper

Green Party Councillor, Newsome Ward

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