West Dunbartonshire Council is considering the use of solar panels in a bid to reduce its carbon emissions.

The council said putting panels on buildings it owns, including its Church Street HQ in Dumbarton, would increase self-sufficiency by generating some or even all of the energy used by the new and existing buildings which they use.

The move is being considered following a motion by Councillor Ian Dickson at a recent council meeting.

Councillor Dickson, convener for corporate services, said: “Given the current climate emergency, I think it is essential that we consider how we can be kinder to our environment.

“We should be attempting to reduce our use of fossil fuel-derived energy.

“We have a large number of buildings and homes throughout the area and making use of solar panels to generate and provide energy to power those would make a significant impact.

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“Alongside the environmental benefits of using Solar PV panels, there are also economic benefits for the council and therefore our residents, so I am glad this is being seriously considered.”

However, the Labour group leader hit back at the plans.

Councillor Martin Rooney said: “The UK Government has cut onshore feed in tariffs significantly this year and it’s questionable whether this would be valuable for me as the capital costs would be significant, and it could take years to reach a break even point.

“There may be better ways of reducing costs such as better insulation and modernising our buildings.”

Council officers will investigate the possibility of installing panels, and create a report for elected members to consider ahead of the budget setting meeting in March next year.

The motion by Cllr Dickson has asked that the report be completed in time for councillors to discuss it fully before any decisions are taken.