The South Hams council area has more solar panels per head than all but one local authority district in England.

The study by residential solar energy supplier Otovo analysed the top ten English counties that embraced solar energy and was released to coincide with the COP28 climate summit, which took place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

According to the percentage of the population with solar panel installations, Boston came top with 5.76 per cent, in part be due to £7.2 million of funding to improve the energy efficiency in properties.

South Hams came a close second with 5.52 per cent, despite more modest financial incentives.

Coincidentally, South Hams District Council (SHDC) last month announced that it had been awarded £1.8 million of funding by the government to improve the energy efficiency of 100 lower income homes by March 2025. These incentives however were aimed at improving insulation or installing heat pumps rather than solar panels.

Retrofitting inefficient homes is nonetheless seen by experts as crucial in tackling global warming.

Otovo’s data was obtained from the MCS Installations Database, which is regarded as an industry standard that offers the most comprehensive reference for small-scale, renewable energy installations in the UK.

To give an idea of the disparity between the counties with the most solar panel installations and those with the least, the City of London came bottom with just 0.04 per cent of residential buildings, showing the least “environmental awareness” in the country, the report said.

The London boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Hammersmith and Fulham, Southwark, Camden and Wandsworth all fared poorly as well.

The report noted the transient nature of the London population, lack of space, and lower home ownership rates as reasons “for this apathy towards solar energy”.

Jina Kwon, UK General Manager at Otovo, said the UK still lagged behind other European countries on the adoption of green technology, but added that “there has never been a better time” to install solar panels in the UK, noting that hardware and labour costs have dropped by 20 per cent in the past six months.

The UK is currently experiencing a boom in solar energy.

So far in 2023, more than 17,000 homes have been installing solar panels every month.