Energy bills set to be slashed for local college and new raft of community buildings thanks to Government-funded solar panel scheme

Planning and Environment
11:27, Thursday, 14th March 2024

The council’s commitment to saving taxpayers’ money and reaching net zero by 2030 has taken a major step forward with four new sites set to receive cut-price electricity through a hugely successful solar panel scheme set up with Government cash.

Ashby Hub, North Lincolnshire Museum, Normanby Gateway and The Baths Hall have all been approved to receive the upgrade, which is part-funded with Government Towns Fund cash.

The announcement comes on the back of John Leggott College joining the project, the biggest installation to date.

The panels are being installed on multiple buildings on the college site, and are expected to save the college tens of thousands of pounds – with their annual electricity bills expected to be slashed by half.

Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This phenomenal scheme just goes from strength to strength.

“We already have twelve Scunthorpe schools benefiting from cheaper electricity and saving tens of thousands of pounds thanks to solar panel installations using this Government cash.

“This further ambitious roll-out will save more than £71,000 in energy bills a year as well as 57 tonnes of CO2.

“We said we’d slash carbon emissions, and the Government has backed us to deliver on that promise.”

Last year (January 2023 – December 2023) a total saving of £112,929.05 was made across the existing scheme, along with 71 tonnes of CO2.

The biggest saving came in September, when mild autumn weather and the addition of three more schools joining the scheme in August meant bills were down £19,873 for the schools involved.

The work is being carried out through community benefit society North Lincolnshire Community Energy, which was set up with the help of Towns Fund money.

A recent share offer, giving local people a chance to have a stake in the company, last year raised £576,000. This will enable the scheme to be rolled out to more educational and community buildings.

For more information on the scheme and the next share offer – which offers a minimum £50 stake and a return on investment – go to the NLCE website.

Pictured: Cllr John Davison, cabinet member for safer, stronger communities (urban) looks at the work being carried out at Ashby Hub with Towns Fund Board vice-chair Holly Mumby-Croft MP.