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Solar panels proving a winning addition

Published: Sun, 17 Apr 2016
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Pictured (L-R) are Stevie McMillan from Saliis with Wilbert Harkness who had panels installed on his home and from the Housing Executive Robert Clements (Energy Team) and Area Manager, Michael Dallat.
Cookstown solar panels
Our tenants across Northern Ireland are beginning to reap the benefits of having solar panels installed as part of the largest domestic renewable solar PV installation in Northern Ireland.
The value of our initiative at 1,000 of its tenants' homes was recently recognised by the flagship awards for the renewables industry in Northern Ireland. We scooped the 'Most Successful Renewable Electricity Installation' at Action Renewables Awards. In the Mid-Ulster area over 50 homes, which were identified as having aspects and rooves suitable for solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, have already been fitted.
The £5m project is being privately financed by Saliis Ltd, is based on the ‘rent a roof’ model and is at no cost to us. The scheme is proving highly successful showing opportunities for substantial energy saving as well as delivering direct cost savings for tenants. It is one of a number of ground-breaking projects we, as Northern Ireland's Home Energy Conservation Authority, is using to help combat fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.
Noel Rice, our Energy Conservation Manager, commented:
“We are delighted with the award from Action Renewables and the progress of this scheme. Nearly all of the 1,000 homes chosen to have the panels installed have been fitted and the feedback to date from our tenants has been positive particularly as they start to see the savings.
“This summer, when the daylight hours are longer, will really show the difference the panels can make. Fuel poverty remains a major issue for many and this initiative can make a significant contribution to combating this amongst our tenants.”
Our tenant in the mid-Ulster area, Wilbert Harkness, had panels installed on his home’s roof last December. He said:
“It was very simple and everything finished in a day. Since then I have seen a small reduction in by bills but I am looking forward to seeing more as the days get longer.”
Noel Hynes, Commercial Director of Saliis Ltd, stated:
“The installation of the solar PV panels is a simple process lasting a day but it can mean up to 50% per year saving of on a householders’ annual electricity bills.  We are pleased with our partnership with the Housing Executive as it can make a real difference to people’s lives.”