Work is expected to start shortly to fit solar panels on hundreds of council homes as part of Brighton and Hove City Council’s drive to help residents with the cost of living.
The solar panels are also part of a push to cut carbon emissions and are due to be fitted to about 800 homes rented from the council.
The council said: “The potential benefits of solar panels for residents have significantly increased in light of the cost of living crisis and the rise in energy prices.
“Due to these increases, residents could now save up to £250 on their electricity bill and the equivalent of 0.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2e) per year.
“The priority for the programme is homes with an energy performance certificate rating of D or lower, those with electric heating and areas of the city with a higher likelihood of fuel poverty.
“The solar panel installation is part of the council’s continuing drive to improve the standard of our council housing and make sure residents live in well-insulated, efficiently heated, healthy homes.
“This also includes programmes to instal more energy-efficient heating and hot water systems, insulation and new windows.
“Solar panels will be installed on the roofs of homes selected for the project and wired directly into the fuse box, giving residents free electricity whenever the panels are generating power.
“When a household is using more electricity than is generated, power will still come from the national grid and be paid for in the normal way.
“Any surplus electricity generated by the panels will be exported to the national grid, helping the drive to lower carbon emissions.
“The solar panels don’t need direct sunlight to work and will still generate electricity on a cloudy day. However, the stronger the sunshine, the more electricity will be generated.
“All residents will be provided with information to help them make the best use of the solar panels and make greater savings on their energy bills.
“This includes using high-power appliances at times when the solar panels are generating most, typically in the middle of the day when it is sunny.”
Councillor Gill Williams, who chairs the council’s Housing and New Homes Committee, said: “During the ongoing cost of living crisis, energy costs are understandably a big concern for many residents.
“I’m delighted to see this huge programme of solar panel installation focused where it’s most needed on the homes with the lowest energy efficiency ratings where residents tend to have the highest energy bills.
“It’s part of our commitment to improving the energy performance of our council homes and reducing carbon emissions across the city.
“It will make a real difference – helping people to save on energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.”
A total of 369 council houses and bungalows in Brighton and Hove already have solar panels, the council said.
They are also fitted on some blocks of council flats, providing electricity for communal areas.
Solar panels are also being included in the design of new council housing projects, the council added.
These include new energy-efficient flats completed earlier this year at Jay Court and Perching Court, in Victoria Road, Portslade, where electricity generated from solar panels is fueling communal lighting and power.