A LOCAL pub has come up with a sparky idea to cut its soaring energy bills.
The Musketeer has had 16 solar panels fitted to its roof in a move which the pub’s owners hope will save them thousands of pounds a year.
The pub, in Lord Street, Leigh, is believed to be the first in the borough to take the step of having the panels, which have been installed by local company Solar Wave, fitted.
Anyone who has their house or business fitted with panels can make money from spare electricity generated using a feed-in tariff, through which the government buy back energy for the National Grid.
The feed-in rate was recently controversially lowered by the government from 43p per unit to 21p, but The Musketeer’s landlady Maureen Dodd says this has not deterred her from going green.
She said: “We’ve just got a huge electricity bill which I know I can cut in half.
“My son mentioned solar panels, and a friend of mine who lives in Westhoughton has also got panels on his house so I thought I would give it a try.
“I’m hoping to save around £3,000 a year. It was very easy to get them fitted, we just had to turn the electricity off for a couple of hours and it was done within a day.
“I’m very pleased with it, so now I’ll just have to wait and see how much money I manage to save.”
Wigan Council has already fitted thousands of panels to its social housing, and Solar Wave bosses are confident other people in the borough will soon follow suit once word gets out about the potential benefits of renewable energy sources.
Managing director Michael Heaton said: “A lot of people think you need a bright sunny day for it to work, but it’s not the case.
“Once we’ve got the message out about the panels I think there will be demand, especially with the tariff.
“The pub is looking to use the panels as an income stream as well as getting free electricity.”