FIVE council buildings on Teesside are to be fitted with solar panels in the coming weeks in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.

Stockton council will fit the photo-voltaic panels on the Municipal Buildings and Bayheath House in Stockton, Queensway and Kingsway House in Billingham and Ideal House in Thornaby.

The panels will generate 170kW of clean renewable electricity which will reduce the council’s use of grid electricity at the same time as generating revenue over the next 20 years under the Government’s Feed-in-Tariff scheme.

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The works, which will take four weeks, will be carried out by contractor, British Gas Solar. Work on Municipal Buildings on Church Road, Stockton has already started.

Councillor David Rose, Stockton Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “The need to manage CO2 emissions has become increasingly important as the contribution they make towards climate change is clear. We want to significantly reduce CO2 emissions and lead by example.

“The cost of installing these solar panels will be recouped within nine years as the council’s energy bills are reduced.

"Installing photo-voltaic panels is just one of the ways the council can make carbon savings. We have also assessed the amount of energy we use in transport and street lighting to find out where we can cut back further on emissions.”

Stockton council aims to make a 25 per cent reduction in its directly controllable CO2 emissions by 2012/2013. This commits the Council to reducing its emissions by an average of five per cent per year.