A HOUSING estate and school are to harness the power of the sun under an environmentally friendly council scheme.
One hundred and twenty council houses will be converted to solar power at Primrose Hill.
Solar panels will also be integrated into the new Moldgreen Community School.
The school - now being built at The Avenue in Moldgreen - will get photovoltaic (PV) panels, which convert the sun's heat and light into electricity.
The panels will be fitted to council-owned properties on Lawton Street, Elizabeth Street and Primrose Grove at Primrose Hill, during refurbishments.
Some of these homes will get additional solar thermal panels which are used to heat water in storage tanks.
Properties without tanks will use the PV-generated electricity or a gas boiler to heat water.
Council-owned houses on Ridge Street and Ridge Close will be knocked down and rebuilt by the Yorkshire Metropolitan Housing association. They will be suitable for both PV and solar thermal panels.
All the properties will still be connected to the National Grid and will have to pay for any power they use from it.
But in homes which use little electricity during daylight hours, the PV panels generate excess power.
This feeds back into the National Grid and earns householders cash back from their electricity suppliers.
Clr Andrew Cooper, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for housing and a Green Party member, said:
"If you don't use much electricity, you could find you get a cheque instead of a bill. It is a practical project that makes people's lives better.
"We are looking to bring the homes into the 21st century. We are not just helping stop global warming but are actually helping people save money."
The PV panels for the school and the Primrose Hill properties are costing £598,000.
The council has received a Department of Trade and Industry grant to cover £360,000 of this.
It is also hoping to receive another grant for £120,000 for the solar thermal panels.
Work is expected to start on the school and homes by November.