IT MAY have been the dullest summer for decades, but there has still been enough sunshine to harvest a welcome windfall for Arun District Council.
Solar panels fitted to the roof of the council’s Civic Centre in Littlehampton have already netted Arun almost £16,000 in electricity savings and payments from a Government scheme rewarding generators of renewable energy.
The electricity produced by the 148 photo-voltaic panels on the Civic Centre in just six months – more than 37,500 kilowatt hours – is enough to power more than nine average UK households.
They have also reduced the council’s carbon footprint, saving the equivalent of more than 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide compared to normal grid electricity.
Over their expected lifetime of at least 25 years and at current electricity supply rates, the panels are expected to save hundreds of tonnes of CO2 and generate well over £600,000 in savings and revenue for the council.
Councillor Dudley Wensley, Arun’s cabinet member for corporate governance and deputy leader of the council, said: “This was a win-win situation for us. The cost of installing the solar panels will be made back from the money they save us, and the income from the electricity generated.
“The panels also help us meet our commitment, which we take very seriously, to reducing carbon emissions.
“June and large parts of July may have been a washout, but we’ve seen savings increase over the sunnier weeks that have followed and these are all savings that we can pass on to Arun’s council tax payers.”