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Put solar panels on every new home, says Carlisle MP

Builders should be made to install solar panels on all new homes, says Carlisle MP John Stevenson.

John Stevenson photo
John Stevenson

He believes this would slash household energy bills, boost manufacturing and help the Government reach renewable-energy targets.

The Conservative this week asked Local Government Minister Andrew Stunell to make solar panels compulsory on new builds as part of planned legislation on building regulations.

Mr Stevenson told the News & Star: “We will create a much bigger market for solar panels. Economies of scale will drive down the cost and lead to greater innovation.

“Builders would integrate the panels within the roof, rather than sit them on the roof as is the case now, which would be an aesthetic improvement.

“And it would save energy costs for householders. It’s a win-win situation.”

There has been rapid growth in solar-panel installations since 2010 when the last government introduced feed-in tariffs to pay homeowners and businesses for generating green energy.

However, the Coalition Government halved the tariffs for new installations from December.

The cut from the 43.3p per kilowatt hour to 21p has doubled the time it takes to recoup installation costs.

The cut faces a legal challenge but, if it stands, panel manufacturers are braced for a fall in orders as the lower tariffs make solar panels a less attractive investment.

Mr Stevenson argues that his proposal would kick-start demand again.

Some 113,880 homes were built in the UK last year.

Creating such a large market for solar panels, the MP argues, would bring production costs down and so make it more attractive for existing homeowners to install them too.

Typically, it costs £10,000 to install solar panels and as much as 20 years, under the new tariffs, to recoup this.

Mr Stevenson added: “The cost of solar panels would be driven down very rapidly. When computers came along they were expensive but the price came down rapidly as demand increased.”

Have your say

When will this climet scam die?

Posted by Steve Emmens on 9 April 2012 at 12:36

What is this Carlisle MP proposing? Is he aware who is subsidising the 21p per kilowatt hour of energy sold back to the national grid? The rest of us domestic energy users, that who!

Those who paid a minimum of £10,000 to have solar panels installed (many have paid rather more)with the promise of 43.3 pence and not 21 pence have already lost out on the promised return on the investment. I predict that this whole programme will be scrapped in the near future. Why? Because it is a complete scam dreamt up by the 'Green Lobby' who continue to misrepresent the verified scientific facts in favour of hypotheses and hyperbole.

Posted by Paul Latham on 9 April 2012 at 12:03

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