New rules have been introduced to make it easier for households in the UK to reduce their carbon footprint.

The government is keen to encourage people to use alternative technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines in a bid to lower our carbon emissions – but in the past, local councils have often refused permission for the installations.

Now the government has stepped in and changed the rules – which means that from this month, you won’t need planning permission for microgeneration equipment like solar panels.

The government estimates that the energy used to run our homes accounts for more than a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions so it’s obviously keen to see new technologies being used to reduce that figure.

So, if you have been considering solar panels, you can now go ahead without the complications of town hall red tape or planning fees.

If you’d like to find out more, check out this video about a family who invested in solar panels.

The government is hoping  to extend the new legislation to cover small wind turbines on detached properties but is waiting for the European Commission to sanction this.

Energy Minister, Malcolm Wicks, said: “The fight against climate change is not just about multi-million pound  renewable energy projects. Solar panels, biomass and heat pumps also have a vital role to play.”

It may  be possible to get a grant towards the cost of installing the equipment. Various schemes are available including the government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme.




  1. 1 ethicalandgreen April 21, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Thanks for that info. I looked into getting solar panels 18 months ago but it was going to be expensive and planning was an issue. I’ll investigate it again.

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