Friday 15 November 2019 / 8:11 AM Rebecca Long Bailey

Labour to put solar panels on libraries, community centres and one stop shops, saving councils money and tackling the climate emergency

As part of its Green Industrial Revolution, Labour will install solar power hubs in 2,000 public spaces like libraries, community centres and one stop shops, saving them an average of £3,000 on their bills every year.

Facilities participating in the ‘Community Solar Hubs’ will also be able to export the electricity they do not use to the grid – which will provide an income of £1,080 a year. In total, all public facilities will be £4,080 better off each year, or £8.2 million across all participating facilities.

Given the net financial benefit to public facilities, the programme will pay for itself in seven years. After 15 years, public facilities will have saved £90 million on their energy bills.

Labour’s new Regional Energy Agencies will run outreach services from these public spaces, to inform the public about how they can benefit from new programmes like Warm Homes for All, and how they can access the many training and employment opportunities associated with Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution.

The Tories cannot be trusted on solar power – having effectively collapsed the sector in 2019. Since the Conservatives scrapped the Feed-in-Tariff in April 2019, new solar installations have almost totally ground to a halt. In the second quarter of 2019, there was 98 per cent less solar installed than the average rate in 2015.

This follows Labour’s announcement at conference to install solar panels on hospitals to save the NHS in energy costs.

Rebecca Long Bailey, Shadow BEIS Secretary, said:

“Labour wants the Green Industrial Revolution to benefit every community.

“Solar panels will make our community spaces greener and cheaper to run. And dedicated outreach teams in every community will provide information on how people can benefit from home upgrades to make them warmer and cheaper to run, and how they can access the hundreds of thousands of new green jobs and training opportunities we are creating.

“At this election, the choice is clear – this is our last chance to take action to protect future generations or allow the Tories to accelerate our planet’s destruction.”

Andrew Gwynne, Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary said:

“Installing solar panels on the roofs of community buildings will not only save councils money, it will reduce the emissions produced in our communities.

“Sharing information in our libraries, community centres and one stop shops on how residents can access Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution will reinvigorate our community buildings, making them hubs of the future.

“Labour will bring real change to our communities for the many, not the few.”