A SEVEN tonne ‘ecopod’ was hoisted onto the top of a tower block yesterday as part of a multi-million pound energy saving scheme on the borough’s largest estate.

The canister which will use solar power to heat water in conjunction with gas boilers housed inside, should dramatically reduce bills for tenants in the six blocks on the Orchard estate in Woodford Green.

The boilers will be powered by gas and all tenants will have new heating systems installed in their flats as part of the work.

Residents living on the top floor of Blenheim Court, the first block to have an ecopod lowered into place, were evacuated while a giant crane hoisted the canister into place.

Ian Bond, deputy leader of Redbridge council said: “I spoke to one lady who was worried that the pod might come crashing through her roof, but I reassured her there was no danger.

“The buildings have all been surveyed to ensure they can carry the weight.”

The built in computer systems in the ecopods will also allow the council to monitor individual usage so that residents only pay for the heating and hot water they use.

The work is part of a scheme which has also seen blocks fitted with energy efficient cladding and new windows.

The  council secured a £10 million grant for the scheme which is due to be completed by April next year.