HOMEOWNERS looking to beat recent energy price rises can now get a grant from the council for installing money-saving solar panels.

Selby District Council is working alongside the Energy Partnership to offer the grants for the solar-powered hot water systems, reducing their cost by between a quarter and a third.

The solar systems sit on the roof of properties, collecting energy from the sun’s radiation. A transfer system uses this energy to heat water for the house, providing up to 60 per cent of an average home’s hot water needs.

Energy Partnership manager Josephine Leffler said the group was offering grants of £1,000 towards the systems, which usually cost between £3,500 and £4,000, including installation.

She said: “The solar hot water systems are environmentally friendly and have great potential for saving money, particularly in households that have high hot water demand, such as families where children go in the bath every day.

“The system will also appeal to people who genuinely care about using greener energy and want to produce their own hot water from a renewable source. Sunshine is a natural source of energy, it’s free and clean.”

The partnership has £40,000 to use for the grants. Anyone living in Selby district can apply.

Ms Leffler said the money came from private company contributions to the Energy Partnership and not from local authority funds.

Coun Chris Metcalfe, chairman of the district council’s environment board, said the scheme was part of the authority’s commitment to championing a reduction in greenhouse gases and combating climate change.

“The council has set out its commitment to support residents to reduce their carbon footprints, and this is a great opportunity for people who want to use renewable energy in their own home,” he said.

“Although this requires an initial investment, it could be a way of combating the soaring price of gas and electricity in the long-term.”

Anyone interested in the solar heating system grants should phone the Energy Saving Trust advice centre on 0800 512012 for more information.