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Social landlord's roof will now power car

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Environment and also in Housing

Social landlord's roof will now power car Social landlord's roof will now power car

A social landlord has taken extraordinary steps in its pursuit of becoming green.

Dorset's DWP Housing Partnership has spent £60,000 fitting the roof of its HQ with photovoltaic panels - to power its brand new electric car.

The 50kw system also provides enough power for the 30 or 40 staff who work in the building at any one time.

DWP's Nissan LEAF vehicle is used daily by rent consultants, and, when fully charged, has a range of 124 miles, although typically does half that in a day.

The 645-home provider says that the vehicle is no different from driving a normal car apart from the lack of noise. The LEAF accelerates from 0-60mph in 7.4 seconds and has a top speed of 98mph.

When not being driven, the car sits in its parking bay, connected to the charger.

Steve Wells, from DWP, said: “Investing in green technologies makes sense.

“We anticipate that the outlay for the solar panels will be recouped within six years.

“When the sun is shining the panels provide enough power for our needs and any excess is sold back to the national grid.

“We are also able to charge our electric car, which we’ve been very impressed with.

“We took it on for a trial period and were so pleased with it we’ve kept it and aim to add more electric vehicles in the future.

“It costs just two pence per mile to run compared with 14 or 15 pence for a normal, petrol-powered car.”

Tim Bamford, of Savills Energy Team in Wimborne, who consulted on the installation, said: “With energy prices predicted to rise significantly over the next 10 years, solar PV offers an excellent opportunity to mitigate these ever increasing costs.

“We were delighted to work with DWP Housing Partnership on this initiative from conception right through to the installation and completion.”

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