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Solar panel scheme dropped due to council cutbacks - 24/01/2012

Plans to help around 4,000 homes in Liverpool get cheap electricity from renewable energy sources have been scrapped due to reductions in the city council's budget.

Local publication the Daily Post reports the scheme, which would have seen photovoltaic solar panels fitted to properties, will mean thousands of people face higher domestic energy bills than expected, which could push houeholds into fuel poverty.

Housing association LMH, which is involved with the project, stated the decision is partly due to a reduction in Feed-in Tariff subsidies paid by the government.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change announced last year that all registrations made after December 12th will be subject to the lower rate, though this was later declared unlawful after a high court challenge.

New plans will see the cut-off date moved to March 3rd.

Cabinet member for the environment at Liverpool City Council Tim Moore said the news is a huge blow for families and solar power firms in the area.

"Together with our partners, we had put together an exciting and pioneering scheme to fit solar panels in social housing, which had the potential to remove hundreds of families from fuel poverty by slashing heating bills," he said.

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