Sue Hayman

Working hard for Workington constituency

Labour unveils community solar power plans

The Labour Party has today unveiled plans to fit 1.75 million homes with electricity-generating solar panels as part of its Green Industrial Revolution, if the party wins the next General Election.

Labour estimates that the policy will save households an average of £117 a year on their energy bills, with up to £270 saved for retired households. The policy will create 16,900 jobs across the country and save 7.1 million tonnes of CO2, equivalent to taking 4 million cars off the roads. By allowing local authorities to sell any unused electricity back to the grid, the policy will also raise an additional £66 million a year for local authorities.

Sue Hayman MP, Member of Parliament for Workington and Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

“This Tory government has failed on small-scale renewable energy. As a result of their reforms to the feed-in tariff, new solar installations have fallen by 90% since 2016, with an estimated 9,000 jobs lost.

“Labour has committed to achieving at least 60% of the UK’s electricity and heat from renewable and low-carbon sources by 2030. New solar, wind, and nuclear will all play an important role in that. By 2030, we will need an additional 2.5GW of small-scale solar PV to plug the energy gap. Our proposal will at least meet this target within one term, in a way that is progressively funded and delivered.

“At the start of the month, the House of Commons passed a Labour motion in my name which made us the first parliament in the world to declare a climate and environment emergency. Complacency about our limited progress on climate change will have dire consequences for our world. Only concerted action through a Green Industrial Revolution can deliver the scale of change needed. As well as tackling the environment and climate emergency, a Green Industrial Revolution will create hundreds of thousands of good jobs across the UK, transforming whole regions of the UK held back for decades.”

Labour will:

  • Directly fit solar panels on a million social homes and those of low-income households to tackle fuel poverty, provide them with free energy and save an average of £117 a year on their bills, which could rise to £270 for retired households.
  • Enable the installation of solar panels on an additional 750,000 homes through a programme of interest free loans, grants and changes to regulations.

Labour’s community solar programme has four main components:

  • Component 1: Labour will publicly fund the installation of solar PV on one million homes (2.5GW of capacity, or the equivalent of one million homes with a 2.5KW system). This will target low income and social housing and be delivered as part of Labour’s retrofit programme. Any unused electricity generated by the programme will be used by the national grid, which Labour will take into public ownership, raising an additional £66m per year for local authorities.
  • Component 2: Labour will provide interest free loans and grants to enable community groups to install solar PV at zero cost. Support will be made available under this programme for up to 250 thousand homes (625MW of capacity).
  • Component 3: Labour will provide interest free loans and grants to enable individuals to install solar PV at zero cost. Support will be made available under this programme for up to 250 thousand homes (625MW of capacity).
  • Component 4: Landlords renting energy inefficient properties (those within EPC bands G, F or E) will be required to install a 2.5KW solar PV system where appropriate roof space is available. The government will provide a zero-interest loan to landlords to cover the full upfront cost. We anticipate that this will lead to the installation of 250,000 solar PV systems.
Posted in Environment, Press Releases