Solar panels on roof 'an asset'

Homes should be made into "power stations", giving their residents a degree of energy security and cutting their electricity bills, claimed a photovoltaics provider.

Soaring gas and electricity prices have seen the average household energy bill rise to record levels, with growing numbers of people being classed as fuel poor.

Solarcentury executive chairman Jeremy Legget suggested that the solution could be to mount solar panels on the roofs of homes to give them a degree of energy independence and cut their costs.

He said: "What better way to be secure in your energy than turning your building into a power station for your electricity and water heating? And what better way to tackle carbon in the UK?"

While people are concerned with the payback period, but he said that photovoltaics were an investment.

"When you buy a car, when you buy a kitchen, you don't ask what's the payback. It's a better return on your investment than leaving it in the bank, because solar is about more than energy - it's an asset on your roof," he said.

One town in Herefordshire wants all new build homes to be equipped with solar panels.

Leominster Town Council is asking county planners to encourage developers to include at least one solar panel on their new builds.

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