Green MP Caroline Lucas has had solar panels installed on the roof of her Brighton home.
The MP for Brighton Pavilion asked a local company called South Downs Solar to fit the 16 module solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of her family home.
She said: “Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy is an important way of reducing our C02 emissions – and installing solar PV makes great economic sense as well.
“Not only can we reduce our fuel bills by generating more of our own electricity, but the government’s feed-in tariff scheme means that we get paid for any excess electricity we generate when it’s fed back to the grid.”
Dr Lucas opted for a 4KWp solar system, which South Downs Solar said was standard for a residential installation.
It will give her access to the highest tariff within the government’s feed-in tariff scheme at a rate of 43.3p per kWh for each unit of electricity that her panels produce.
In addition she will also benefit from free electricity in her home, saving her 12p per kWh with any unused electricity going back to the grid and earning her 3.1p per kWh.
Michael Yeoman, the Hove-based managing director of South Downs Solar, said that while every roof was different, the installation at Dr Lucas’s house was fairly typical.
Mr Yeoman said: “Caroline’s house has a large southern facing pitched roof space which is ideal for positioning a solar panel system.
“As with so many period houses that have had loft conversions, we positioned the panels either side of roof windows and decided on the best fit for her home, having already ensured that the roof was strengthened.
“As with most solar panel installations, none of this work required planning permission as it falls within ‘permitted development rights’.”
South Downs Solar, which is based in Hurstpierpoint, fitted the solar panels four weeks ago and said that they already saved more money than expected despite the poor weather.
The company said that the government had promised to fund the feed-in tariff for 25 years.
It added: “With the continued price rises for traditional energy sources, solar PV is helping households to protect against future price increases and become more self sufficient for their energy needs.”
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