9 January 2014
With winter on our doorsteps many business owners are concerned about their energy costs. Reducing bills requires transforming the way you use energy (See Green Mark Newsletter 2013). However, have you thought about producing your own energy to reduce costs?
Onsite small-scale renewable and low carbon technologies will play an important part in future energy supply. Solar PV technology, in particular, has attracted interest from a large number of local authorities, communities, businesses and households in the UK. Businesses that have the capacity to generate their own energy can make considerable savings in costs and carbon.
The Island House community centre, based in London’s Isle of Dogs, is a great example of a conscientious company that’s striving to achieve the very best environmental standards with limited resources. Through continuous environmentally focussed improvements and encouraging environmental responsibility amongst staff, the Island House team is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its activities.
Over the last five years, the centre has set annual goals to improve its environmental performance. This has included reducing both running costs and the impact of the centre’s activities on the environment. Their goal for 2012 was to produce their own energy.
A large roof with a slope and sunlight were everything that Island House needed in October 2012 to install 40 Solar PV Panels. This was equivalent to 65m2 of active PV area, making a 10kWp system. The total cost for Island House’s Solar PV panel system was £26,198. This included a structural survey, the cost of the panels, installation costs and a display panel fitted in the reception area so that employees and users of the centre can see the actual amount of energy generated every minute. After 12 months, the system had produced 8,500 kWh (99% of what was estimated by the installer). The actual savings for Island House for the first year are £2,296. This is made up of £ 1,438 FITs (i.e. 14.5 p/kWh) plus £858 electricity savings.
Island House’s solar panel system is capable of earning energy over 20 years. The cost of the system will be paid off in less than 15 years, even as the overall performance of the system decreases.
Solar PV technology has environmental, economic and social benefits
Green Mark is an environmental certification scheme which helps organisations to:
GLE is currently providing free Green Mark certifications to ESF funded organisations, as part of the ESF Technical Assistance programme. This support is available for organisations who hold an ESF contract directly, and those who participate as a formal partner.
For more information about how Green Mark can help your organisation contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 02036 971253.