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Leuven seeks 1,000 households to install solar panels

14:44 06/05/2020
From Flanders Today

The city of Leuven has launched Zonnige groetjes uit Leuven (A Sunny Hello from Leuven) to recruit 1,000 households to install solar panels. The campaign was announced on Sun Day, the internationally recognised day devoted to solar energy awareness.

Leuven’s city council is looking for 1,000 families to install solar panels on their roof this year and are making it as easy as a possible with a number of tools. Interested households can fill in an online “quick scan” to assess if their home is solar panel ready.

There are also energy coaches available to advise homeowners on issues like the stability of their roof and how much sun it actually gets. And families can even take part in a group purchase of panels to bring down the costs.

“Leuven’s solar installations have a 20 MWp capacity, which is equal to the energy consumption of about 60,000 families,” said climate city councillor David Dessers. “We have so much unused potential that this can easily be increased. Last year we saw about 500 installations, so our goal this year is to double that.”

Should a homeowner decide to go ahead, an energy coach can help again with tips on specifics to discuss with the installer and what to consider before signing the offer.

According to Dessers, solar panels remain a solid investment. Aside from saving on electricity costs, the cost of panels and installation have come way down over the last few years. A family of four can recupe their investment in seven or eight years, he said. The lifespan of solar panels is about 30 years.

Dessers also points to green energy investment options for those who cannot install solar panels for one reason or another or who rent their home. “Residents can invest in local energy co-operatives and share in the profits of green energy produced in Leuven,” he explained. “Everyone can reap the benefits of energy transition.”

Written by Karolien Borghlevens