Sun brings power boost to Holt Community Centre

Sun power is helping Holt Community Centre reduce its power bills, and impact on the environment.

The 20 solar panels installed on the roof contain 1,440 photovoltaic cells which generate electricity from the sun.

On a bright day they can produce 3.7kW of electricity which is enough to power a kettle or 60 light bulbs, said centre spokesman Barry Pilgrim.

'If we generate more than we use at any time then the power is fed into the grid system for others to use,' he added, and a meter in the hall foyer shows how the system is performing.

'Environmentally, the use of energy at the centre results in 25 tonnes of CO2 being put into the atmosphere each year. The photovoltaic system will reduce this by 1.4 tonnes. It will also save us money!'

The savings plus government grants should cut about �1,400 a year from the centre energy bills, and the system should have a life span of more than 20 years.

It has taken two years of preparation work and grant searching to turn the idea into reality. After 18 months they had secured 86 per cent of the �17,500 required. The largest sum - half the cost - came from the Lottery's Community Sustainable Energy Programme'. Other help was from the Sheringham Shoal Fund (�4,500), the Geoffrey Watling Charity (�2,000) and the Naturesave Trust, which specialises in environmental projects, (�500). The balance came from centre funds, boosted by local events.

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The centre's energy efficiency has also been boosted by cavity wall insulation. The �2,000 cost was mostly covered by grants and should see a �400 a year on the gas bill and further reduction of CO2 emissions by a further 2.1 tonnes a year, added Mr Pilgrim.

To find out more about the community centre call 01263 713427.

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