COUNCIL house tenants are being offered the chance to reap free solar energy from the council’s multi-million pound green project.
Eastbourne Borough Council sent out leaflets last week explaining how it will install free solar panels on the roofs of council houses in exchange for the lucrative government subsidies handed out for generating green energy.
In earlier estimates council projections had profits running to £40 million in 25 years, but new proposed rates could see profit margins increase further still.
A council spokesperson said the response from residents had been good so far.
Reny Pulling, council house tenant and chair of the Langney Area Panel, said, “This is a really exciting project for Eastbourne and a wonderful opportunity for local tenants to turn sustainable energy from the sun, into big savings in their electricity bills.
“I fully support the proposals for free solar panels and hope other tenants will too.”
Council energy initiatives officer Nick Adlam said councils outside Sussex had shown interest in the project’s business plan, but warned the project still has to jump through a few hoops before it goes full steam ahead.
Plans to install up to 4,770 panels on council houses and more on other council-owned buildings must be given final approval by a new borough council in June.
Mr Adlam said, “We’re still subject to final approval but now we have gone live in terms of the tenant process.
“We’ve got a more positive feel about it, but ultimately we know that it could still not be approved by council cabinet – we might have a change of administration come June.”
The project will cost £18.6 million and could help cut the town’s carbon emissions by 40 per in eight years.