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Solar PV installed into care homes


Kirklees Metropolitan Council aims to make renewable energy and sustainable building design an integral part of council projects. In accordance with this goal, the Council undertook an initiative to provide solar electricity to homes for elderly people and people with disabilities, including two 40 bedroom care homes and four 8 bedroom sheltered homes.

A total of 40kWp of roof integrated solar photovoltaic systems were installed in existing and new build homes for this project. There has been a positive response to this project from Kirklees Social Affairs and Health, who as a result, are now planning more renewable energy installations in care homes.

Building details

Type of building: Multi-residential care homes and sheltered homes
Measures installed: Two 10kWp and four 5kWp solar photovoltaic systems
Energy/CO2/Water label Display® posters have been produced for all of the homes.

Project Description

Aim The aims of the project were to:

- Reduce fuel bills.

- Supply the homes with power from renewable energy sources to help contribute towards a target of meeting 10% of the Kirklees district’s energy demand from renewable sources by 2010.

- Reduce CO2 emissions.

- Demonstrate that solar PV could be integrated into homes in an appealing way.
Key points The ‘Solar Care Homes’ project is part of a European scheme called SunCities. Through this programme Kirklees Council, with partners from the Netherlands and Germany, aimed to install a total of 3.05 MW (megawatts) of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on several thousand dwellings, including a target of 400kW of PV in Kirklees.

_ The care homes were chosen as an opportunity to demonstrate roof integrated solar PV and to reduce the homes’ fuel bills.


_ 40kWp of roof integrated solar photovoltaic systems were installed in 5kWp and 10kWp units:

- Two 10kWp systems in Moorlands Grange and Castle Grange care homes.

- Four 5kWp systems in Elm Grove, Orchard View, Mill Dale and Crescent Dale sheltered homes.

_ The installations were completed in February 2006. The 10kWp systems on the care homes produce around 7,000kWh of energy per home each year. The 5kWp systems on the sheltered homes produce around 3,500kWh per home per year.

_ The systems are linked to displays, which show the current power generation, the energy generated to date and the amount of CO2 emissions that have been avoided. These displays are positioned so that they are clearly visible to both residents and visitors.


Display at Elm Grove
Reason for inclusion as Shining Example: This shining example shows how solar PV can be integrated into care homes to reduce fuel bills and CO2 emissions, and raise awareness of renewable energy amongst residents and visitors. In addition, this project has resulted in several practical learning points (see lessons learned below) that can be used to aid other organisations undertaking similar projects.

Costs &


Costs &


The total cost of this project was €456,700 (£316,000). Of this, €216,800 (£150,000) was provided by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Major PV Programme, which aimed to create a long-term, sustained and viable market for solar PV; €86,700 (£60,000) was provided by the EU SunCities Programme and the remaining €153,200 (£106,000) was funded by Kirklees Metropolitan Council, through their Renewable Energy Fund.
Benefits The benefits of this project are manifold:

- Social- this project has increased interest in installing renewable energy in future care homes.

- Environmental- this project will save more than 12 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

- Awareness-raising- visitors to the care home are able to view the performance of the systems.

Partnership details

Partners &


This initiative was managed by Kirklees Council Environment Unit in partnership with Kirklees Council Social Affairs and Health.

_ The solar photovoltaic systems were installed by FilSol Solar Limited. The homes were built by Bardsley Construction Ltd and R.H. Fullwood & Co Ltd (some were existing homes and some were new build).

_ Technical project management, including supervision of the installations, was undertaken by Kirklees Council Design & Property Services.


Achievements The solar PV systems are being monitored to assess their performance.


Installation of 5kWp system at Mill Dale sheltered home

_ Achievements

- There has been a positive response to this project from Kirklees Social Affairs and Health, who are now planning more renewable energy installations in care homes.

- More than €289,000 (£200,000) in external funds have been brought into the Kirklees community.

- The SunCities project was recognised by the prestigious Ashden Awards in 2006 as an excellent local sustainable energy project.
Lessons Learned Lessons learned

_ Several lessons have been learned as a result of this project, as follows:

- Provide information as early as possible to the asset managers about the systems, including energy efficiency advice, any savings to be made, maintenance schedule and costs and who to contact if there are any problems. This will ensure the managers take ownership of and maintain the systems into the future. (Note: asset managers look at the overall costs for a department, including bills and energy use, as part of the overall asset management strategy).

- Involve the care home’s manager in the project design. The roof integrated design demonstrated that solar PV could be installed in a way that was sympathetic to the fact that the systems were on peoples’ homes and not solely demonstration buildings.

- This project demonstrated that private developers are keen to deliver renewable energy projects, particularly because of the benefits to their organisation such as assistance with meeting the Code for Sustainable Homes (formerly EcoHomes) standards and early compliance with future policy. These benefits should be highlighted to the developer at an early stage.

- Ensure all parties are committed to grant timeframe deadlines. This is particularly important when managing multiple funding streams.

_ Replication

_ Kirklees Social Affairs and Health are planning to integrate renewable energy systems into future care homes.


Installation of a solar PV array at Elm Grove sheltered home

To know more



Kirklees Council Environment Unit
Contact Lisa Herron
Phone + 44 (0)1484 223568

Usefull Info

Publications Kirklees Council Case Study: Solar Powered Care Homes
Arrangements to visit By prior arrangement only. Please contact Kirklees council Environment Unit.

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