FOURTEEN months after a campaign was launched to get 100 homes in Marlow powered by the sun, the number of homes with solar panels is nearing the quarter-century mark.

Green group Transition Town Marlow says 23 homes have so far installed panels and the campaign is still in full-swing.

Philip Ditchfield has headed up the project over the past year, but will now take a back seat after being elected to the town council.

He said: “I've become obsessed with solar panels - a year or so ago I never really thought much about them but I always notice them when I walk around now.

“I'm pleased with 23 and I think 100 will be achieved. The ball is now rolling and the project continuing. It's a big commitment to spend £10,000, but you can get a return of about £25,000 over 25 years.”

The organisation teamed up with renewable electricity supplier Good Energy last year, in an ambitious project designed to make Marlow a 'low-carbon community' and more energy self-sufficient.

New ‘feed-in-tariffs’ put forward by the Government make the panels a better investment than putting money in a building society, said Cllr Ditchfield.

The new Conservative councillor, who has a background in aeronautical engineering, said his politics has 'always been a turquoise-blue', and is keen to bring his Green ideas to the town hall.

He was was 'very excited' recently when he saw 51 newly-installed solar panels on the roof of Bourne End Community Centre, and hopes similar projects can be introduced in Marlow.

He added: “The ideal thing I really want to promote is having one collection for paper, plastics and tin, so people can throw all of that into one wheelie bin which simplifies the process.”

Though Wycombe District Council is responsible for rubbish and recycling collections, Cllr Ditchfield said he would aim to 'push the will of the people upwards' in his new role.

For more details on the solar panel project see link below.