Solar panels on nearly two million homes, say Labour

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to outline radical plans to fit one and three quarter million homes with electricity-generating solar panels as part of Labour’s Green Industrial Revolution.

Alongside Rebecca Long Bailey, Shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary, Corbyn is to visit Yorkshire to say how the plans would see solar panels fitted on a million social homes and those of low-income households to tackle fuel poverty, provide them with free energy and save an average of £117 a year on their bills, which could rise to £270 for retired households.

As part of the pledge, any unused electricity generated by the programme will be used by the national grid, which Labour will take into public ownership, raising an additional £66 million per year for local authorities.

The installation of solar panels would also be available for an additional 750,000 homes through a programme of interest free loans, grants and changes to regulations.

The Labour Party is also unveiling plans to take the National Grid into public ownership, using the same speech to outline hopes to create a National Energy Agency to own and maintain transmission infrastructure.

However, announcing the plans alongside solar proposals has caused some controversy, with National Grid - the largest transmitter of electricity and gas in Britain - saying such a move would hinder the shift to green energy.

Corbyn said: “In this country, too often people are made to feel like the cost of saving the planet falls on them. Too many think of green measures as just another way for companies or the government to get money out of them, while the rich fly about in private jets and heat their empty mansions.

“Labour’s approach is different. Our Green Industrial Revolution will benefit working class people with cheaper energy bills, more rewarding well-paid jobs, and new industries to revive the parts of our country that have been held back for far too long.

“By focusing on low income households we will reduce fuel poverty and increase support for renewable energy. Social justice and climate justice as one. Environmental destruction and inequality not only can, but must be tackled at the same time.”