CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council is gearing up for a mass solar panel programme designed to slash the energy bills of council house tenants.

Council leader Kevin Madge has disclosed that a 10-year £200million modernisation programme for the authority’s 9,000 council houses is on schedule for completion by April 2015.

He said: “Solar panels are clearly the way forward and we will be looking to put as many of them on our council houses as we can.”

“Hopefully, we will become the first authority in many years to build new council houses – there will be a housing programme for later this year and an even bigger programme for 2015."