Half a million quid has been spent solar-panelling ten tower blocks across North Manchester. Half of that came from Northwards Housing, which is a not-for-profit company set up by Manchester City Council to manage thousands of its properties. The other £250,000 came from central government’s “Low Carbon Buildings Programme.” The panels were supplied by Solarcentury, “the UK’s leading solar energy provider.”
The tower blocks, in Charleston, Moston and Higher Blackley are guinea pigs for a retro-fitting scheme. The generated leccy will be fed back into the landlord’s supply, and savings spent on ‘future investment’. As such, residents, who were consulted but not asked to contribute to the scheme, will not benefit directly via decreased energy bills.
The project is an effort by Northwards to go beyond the obligations imposed upon it by central government’s “Decent Housing Standard”, whereby 95% of social housing is supposed to be “wind and weather tight, warm and with modern facilities” by 2010. Northwards plan to spread ‘lessons learned’ to other social housing providers and beyond.
Solarcentury’s mission is to “make a big difference in the fight against climate change. Our aim is to revolutionise the global energy market.”
Decent Homes Standard