Labour has announced plans to install photovoltaic panels on 1.75 million homes if elected to government, in a move specifically targeting low-income households
Party leader Jeremy Corbyn outlined the proposals as part of the party’s Green Industrial Revolution which aims to tackle climate change and create jobs across the energy sector.
It would involve fixing the panels to one million social and low-income homes, in a bid to end fuel poverty and reduce bills. Labour said the move could save households an average of £117 per year.
An additional 750,000 homes would also be encouraged to install rooftop solar panels through a programme of interest-free loans and grants, as well as changes to regulations which have so far yet to be detailed.
According to the plans, any surplus electricity generated would be fed back into the National Grid, which Labour yesterday controversially pledged to return to public ownership.
Speaking at an event in Yorkshire yesterday (16 May), Corbyn said: ‘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 – social justice and climate justice as one.’
The policy, outlined in a document Bringing Energy Home, would create nearly 17,000 jobs, it estimates, as well as saving 7.1 million tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of taking 4 million vehicles off UK roads.
Local authorities may also benefit by as much as £66 million through the sale of unused energy.
The National Grid has criticised Labour’s plans for renationalisation, saying it would ‘delay the huge amount of progress and investment that is already helping to make this country a leader in the move to green energy’.