Postwick villagers use wind power to cut bills

Villagers in Postwick, on the outskirts of Norwich, have finally harnessed the power of the wind to cut their hall's energy bills.

A �72,864 green project, which has seen a wind turbine and heat pump built on the village sports pitch, has been finished ahead of deadline, despite fears it would have to be scrapped because of a �15,000 shortfall funding.

The project was given a grant by the Norfolk Community Foundation and the social club and villagers raised the rest of the cash to complete the project.

A green group was set up in the village two years ago by villager Helen Rinaldo. As well as applying for grants, money for green projects in the village has also been raised through plant swaps and other sustainable-themed events.

Although the turbine will not entirely power the hall, it will generate most of the energy. Any extra energy generated when the hall is not in use will be sold back to the National Grid.

Peter Herring, chairman of Postwick Social Club, said: 'We are trying to make Postwick one of the greenest villages in Norfolk. One of the biggest problems for us is to raise enough money to run the village hall.

'The nicer we can make the village hall and the more comfortable we can make it the more we can rent it out for functions. It is the only amenity in the village, apart from the church.'

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The hall is used for coffee mornings, sewing classes, art classes, and there is a bar which is also open twice a week. There are also two football teams.

He said that they had put the turbine within the tree line on the football pitch to reduce any noise.

'Although it has been a lot of hard work, it has been very worthwhile,' he added.

'We have had some contact from other villages who are interested in doing something similar.

'If everybody does a bit then it will make a difference. I think it has got to be done. 'There are sacrifices to be made; visually not everybody likes the look of a turbine.'

The new system is expected to save nearly 8,000kg of C02 a year.

The village received grants from the Community Sustainable Energy Programme, the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, the Broads Authority and Norfolk Community Foundation.

MP Keith Simpson will officially launch the turbine at a reception on May 6.

Are you doing something green in your community? Call Annabelle Dickson on 01603 772426 or email annabelle.dickson@archant.co.uk