GHA tenants save money on their fuel bills and help the environment
Published by Glasgow Housing Association on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:14
GHA has installed solar panels to the first of 500 homes - to help tenants save money on their fuel bills.
The solar panels generate free electricity during daylight hours for householders.
Tenants whose homes are fitted with solar panels can expect to save around £100 every year on their fuel bills.
The solar panels also cut the carbon footprint of each home which helps the environment.
Glasgow City Council Leader Gordon Matheson joined GHA Chair Gordon Sloan at one of the first GHA homes fitted with solar panels.
Susan Lafferty, 43, from Baillieston has lived in her home for the past 11 years with husband Daniel, 50, and 17-year-old son Daryl.
She said: "I looked at all the benefits of the scheme and realised I had nothing to lose, so I signed up.
"We spend nearly £50 every two weeks on our key cards - and the prices keep going up. I was keen to try anything that would help us cut our fuel bills.
"It is also good that it helps the environment. We already do our bit in the house by using all of the different coloured recycling bins.
"We were one of the first GHA houses to get the panels fitted, but more and more are popping up on our street."
Each GHA house fitted with solar panels could cut 24 tonnes of CO2 emissions over a 25-year period - equivalent to filing five Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Alex McGuire, GHA's Executive Director of Development and Regeneration, said: "We're absolutely delighted with the response we had from tenants. Fuel bills keep rising every year so we wanted to find another way to help people keep warm and also keep money in their pockets.
"Tenants will start to notice the difference to their fuel bills over the next few months."
The 500th home to be fitted with solar panels is expected to be completed by the end of next month.
The installation of the solar panels is one way GHA is contributing to Sustainable Glasgow - a partnership which aims to make Glasgow one of the most sustainable cities in Europe and reduce the city's CO2 emissions by 30 per cent by 2020.
Councillor Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Sustainable Glasgow, said: "This is a fantastic scheme to help Glasgow tenants cut their energy bills and make it easier to heat their homes.
"I was delighted to see for myself one of the first GHA homes fitted with solar panels and hear what a difference it would make for tenants. Everyone has a right to live and bring up their families in a warm home which is affordable to heat.
"Through our Sustainable Glasgow network, partners like GHA are working to bring real benefits to all Glaswegians through green projects and strong partnerships, which are helping to a cleaner, greener and healthier city."
Tenants who signed up for solar panels also received a visit from one of GHA's Fuel Advisors. The Fuel Advisors showed tenants how to make the most of the free electricity generated during daylight hours.
The UK Government launched a renewable energy scheme in 2009 to increase the uptake of green technology. As part of this, feed-in tariffs were introduced which reward customers for generating electricity.
Any surplus income generated by the feed-in tariffs in the GHA properties will be reinvested in GHA homes. A decision by the UK Government to cut feed-in tariff rates is currently being challenged in the High Court.
The solar panels are fitted by building firm Apollo. Regional Director for Apollo, Eamonn McGarvey, said: "We're delighted Apollo was asked to work with GHA on this important project, installing solar panels on their properties on such a large scale.
"Our nationwide EcoFit service is dedicated to helping organisations like GHA find ways of helping residents reduce their fuel bills and improve their carbon footprint. We're committed to ensuring that we deliver a quality project, along with an excellent service, to both GHA and its residents."