Hundreds of council homes will have solar panels installed to help residents with the cost of living crisis and reduce carbon emissions.

Around 800 council-rented houses and bungalows in Brighton and Hove will benefit from new solar panels over the next three years.

Following rises in energy prices, the new solar panels will save residents up to £250 on their electricity bills and the equivalent of half a tonne of carbon dioxide each year.

The programme is being prioritised for homes with electric heating, low energy performance ratings and for areas with a higher likelihood of fuel poverty.

Councillor Gill Williams, chairwoman of the council’s housing and new homes committee, said: “During the ongoing cost of living crisis, energy costs are understandably a big concern for many residents. 

“I’m delighted to see this huge programme of solar panel installation focussed where it’s most needed on the homes with the lowest energy efficiency ratings, where residents tend to have the highest energy bills. 

“It’s part of our commitment to improving the energy performance of our council homes and reducing carbon emissions across the city.

“It will make a real difference – helping people to save on energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint.”

Solar panels will be installed on the roofs of homes selected for the project and wired directly into their fuse box - giving residents free electricity whenever the panels generate power.

Any surplus electricity will be exported to the national grid, helping the drive to lower carbon emissions nationwide.

Installation of solar panels is set to begin on homes this month, with panels also being included in the design of new council housing projects.

The programme is part of an effort by the council to improve the standard of council homes to ensure they are well-insulated and efficiently heated.

As part of this, the council is also installing more energy efficient heating and hot water systems, insulation and new windows.