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Last Updated: Monday, 30 January 2006, 11:05 GMT
Town leads UK solar energy drive
Fernside Estate, Almondbury
The council has installed solar panels on 250 of its homes
Huddersfield, once at the heart of the industrial revolution, is now leading the UK's drive to produce green energy, new figures have shown.

The West Yorkshire town is producing 5% of the country's domestic solar power - more than any other district - thanks to a major council-backed project.

Kirklees Council has teamed up with the European SunCities scheme to install solar panels on 250 council houses.

Panels are also in use at its council care homes and on some private housing.

This is a vital tool in the council's fight against fuel poverty among vulnerable groups
Kate Parsons, Kirklees Council renewable energy officer

Kirklees Council renewable energy officer Kate Parsons said: "By the end of February we will have installed 4.9% of the total amount of solar electricity installed in the UK, making it the largest domestic solar project in the UK."

The figure is based on the government's recently-published data for its micro-generation strategy - the generation of energy through local schemes.

Householders taking part in the scheme - many elderly or families with young children - can expect to save up to 50 a year on their electricity bills.

"This is a vital tool in the council's fight against fuel poverty among vulnerable groups," said Ms Parsons.

On Monday, a delegation of experts from SunCities projects in Germany and the Netherlands was arriving in Huddersfield for a two-day visit to study the town's solar projects.

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