GREEN thinking homeowners have rushed to submit eco-friendly planning applications as a crunch deadline passes.

Residents hoping to take advantage of the Government’s Clean Energy Cashback project had until last Wednesday to register their interest.

The scheme helps householders make cash from wind and solar power by letting them produce power for the National Grid.

Customers are paid by energy companies for all the electricity they generate and also for any they export.

They also benefit from not having to buy any of their own.

And, as the March 31 cut-off date passed, Kirklees Council was inundated with a flurry of applications from people hoping to take part.

In the past few weeks alone at least 28 property owners have applied to erect 15metre domestic wind turbines.

The applications have come from premises across the region, including Hepworth, Slaithwaite, Emley Moor, Cumberworth, New Mill, Grange Moor, Denby Dale and the suitably named Windy Hill Farm in Liversedge.

Meanwhile homeowners in Birkby, Marsden and Kirkburton have applied to install solar panels.

It is thought some solar powered households could be almost £800 a year better off through savings and payments from their energy supplier.

Kirklees Green Party leader Clr Andrew Cooper welcomed the rush of applications, but said he thought solar power was the way to go.

He said: “Unless these turbines are put in very windy places they’re not much good.

“I’m much more in favour on a domestic scale on the other ways of making renewable energy like solar.

“There have been some very small turbines that have been next to useless.

“But if these are in rural spots and not little diddy David Cameron sized turbines, and are not something that are going to upset the neighbours, then they’re a good thing.”

Clr Cooper, who is also the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Huddersfield at the upcoming general election, said companies that took the high cost out of solar installations were beginning to emerge.

He added: “There’s a number of companies out there that are looking at doing very cheap or free installs on the basis that the tariff can be signed over to them. But the electricity that comes into your house you benefit from.

“People will get say £150 a year off their bill and free solar panels.

“I think we will see that sort of thing coming onto the market more very soon.”