Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group and Southern Staffordshire Community Energy believe Whittington has become “the nation’s leading solar village” with more than 30 homes and buildings including the school, church hall, village hall and St Giles Hospice featuring solar panels.
WFEG says the electricity generated by the panels in Whittington and Fisherwick is enough to provide all the power for over 50 homes with an annual saving of “a massive 1359 tonnes of carbon dioxide”.
Most of the homes in the village have obtained their panels through the Solar 500 group discount scheme set up by WFEG with Low Carbon Lichfield in April 2011.
Julian Floyd of Osprey Close participated in the Solar 500 scheme.
“We are really pleased with our panels,” said Julian. “We have earned £600 under the Feed-in Tariff scheme. On top of that we save on electricity bills – we put the washing machine on when the sun is shining when we get free electricity – it’s brilliant.
“The Solar 500 group discount scheme means that solar PV is accessible to more people and they can have confidence in a scheme that has already seen over 90 installations.
“But people do need get in quickly now before the FiTs are reduced again.”
The feed-in-tariff is the amount paid by the Government to people who create their own “green electricity”.
It pays 21p per Kilowatt hour (kWh) for all electricity generated by the panels (for systems under 4 Kilowatt-peak – a measure of the power of solar energy).
This is inflation-proofed, tax-free and guaranteed for 25 years. But the next FiT reduction is due on July 1 and the campaigners believe people should act now.
Mike Kinghan of WFEG said: “While there has already been a big reduction this year, solar panel prices have come down considerably too so that there are still significant financial benefits for those able to afford the up-front costs.
“For instance under the Solar 500 group discount a typical 10 panel system now costs a little over £5,000 while a 6 panel system can be installed for under £4,000.
“With the larger system it is expected the capital can be repaid in 9 years with the FiT and electricity savings.”
The group discount scheme is run by New World Solar and is available to any household or organisation in the Tamworth area.
For more information contact Mike Kinghan of WFEG on 01543 432238.
Source: This is Tamworth