Labour announce plans to install solar panels on 2,100 North Herts homes
PUBLISHED: 10:02 19 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:28 31 May 2019
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says the policy could relieve pressure on low-income families while supporting new industries in neglected parts of the country.
Under plans announced by Mr Corbyn and Rebecca Long Bailey - the shadow business, energy and industrial strategy secretary - a Labour government would fit one million social properties and homes of low-income families across the UK with solar panels.
The party says the move will help to tackle fuel poverty, providing households with free energy and saving them an average of £117 a year on bills, rising to £270 for retired households.
Any unused electricity generated by the programme would be used by the National Grid, which Labour plans to take into public ownership - raising an additional £66 million per year for local authorities.
Social housing makes up 19 per cent of North Herts' 56,000 homes - around 11,000 properties in total.
Labour estimates this means solar panels would be installed at 2,137 properties in the area - roughly 26,000 panels in total, covering 41,000 square metres of rooftops.
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The policy, which would be funded as part of Labour's National Transformation Fund, would cost an estimated £2.14 billion, the party said.
They also plan to invest £350 million over 15 years on interest free loans, grants and regulatory changes to help an additional 750,000 properties install solar panels.
Labour estimates its policy will create 16,900 jobs and save 7.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide - equivalent to taking four million cars off the UK's roads.
Mr Corbyn said: "In this country, too often people are made to feel like the cost of saving the planet falls on them.
"Too many think of green measures as just another way for companies or the government to get money out of them, while the rich fly about in private jets and heat their empty mansions.
"Labour's approach is different. Our green industrial revolution will benefit working class people with cheaper energy bills, more rewarding, well-paid jobs, and new industries to revive the parts of our country that have been held back for far too long.
"By focusing on low-income households we will reduce fuel poverty and increase support for renewable energy."