A BAD mobile phone signal is preventing villagers from cashing in on rewards for using green energy.

The phone signal in Layer-de-la-Haye is so poor residents can’t even get their homes installed with smart meters.

And, as a result, they can’t participate in energy suppliers’ payback schemes.

The situation is also frustrating for people trying to work from home.

Despite efforts of villagers to have a phone mast built to improve the signal, their requests have fallen on deaf ears.

And it has even resulted in those who have bought into renewable energy schemes not receiving the cash they are owed.

Liz Appleby, 70, who lives in Layer-de-la-Haye, had initially invested in solar panels as they are more efficient and better for the environment.

The lack of phone signal, however, has meant she cannot have a smart meter installed - and without a smart meter, she is unable to make use of British Gas’s feed-in-tariff (FIT) scheme.

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The scheme allows to residents to feed any excess power generated from their solar panels back into the electricity grid, and for each kilowatt of energy which goes back into the grid, residents receive 10p per hour.

Mrs Appleby said it may not seem like much, but it does add up to a fair sum.

She said: “The pay-back scheme wasn’t the reason we got the solar panels but at the same time it is annoying we don’t get much back from the scheme.

“Some people with other energy providers previously got between £400 and £700 per year for sending energy back to the grid.

“There has been a plan to put up a phone mast in two parts of the village to improve the phone signal but they were thrown out.”

Ms Appleby, who used to work as a civil servant with the Ministry of Defence, added the lack of phone signal means the alarm can’t be raised if there is an accident.

Mrs Appleby has written to Ofgem, councillors Kevin Bentley, Andrew Ellis and Jackie McLean and even Home Secretary Priti Patel in an attempt to have something done, but says she is still yet to see any action as a result.