The “Solar panels for all” plan will be formally announced next year, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Friday.

Papanastasiou was addressing the House finance committee and told them the plan “aims to help households install a solar power system without paying up front.”

He added that the scheme can be reinforced and expanded in case of increased demand.

The provisions of the plan will be presented next week, as one of the government’s “short-term measures” to help reduce people’s energy bills.

“The plan is complete, only some final touches remain,” Papanastasiou said.

He said the plan has a total budget of €30 million to address a total of 6,0000 households.

The budget can be increased to cover a forecast maximum of 20,000 applicants should applications and public interest exceed government forecasts.

The money has been made available from the government’s Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Saving fund, which Papanastasiou said “is being constantly reinforced with European funds and can be further strengthened through revenue streams” from taxation.

At the same time, Papanastasiou told the committee that a meeting would be held next week regarding planned upgrades at the Dhekelia power station.

“We will see the Electricity Authority (EAC)’s plan. We believe that small, flexible diesel-burning units should be brought in to support production,” he said.