GREEN STREETS: Public Meeting, Methodist Church, 3rd March, 2010

GREEN STREETS: Public Meeting, Methodist Church, 3rd March, 2010

On Wednesday, 3rd March, a public meeting was held at the Methodist Church, to explain the Green Streets project to users of the building, and residents of the Street’s Ahead neighbourhood (Queen Street, Foundry Street, Croft Street, Albert Street, etc.).

An enthusiastic group gathered to hear what the Green Babies and Toddlers project involves, but specifically to hear about the plans for their community building, the Methodist Church.   British Gas project manager, Craig Breen, was in attendance to explain the proposals for a 6kWh or 4kWh solar PV panel on the south facing roof of the building, to produce electricity, subject to planning permission.

Not only would the panels provide a significant percentage of the building’s electricity needs (on an average domestic property, a good 50% of the household’s needs could be provided by solar PV), but will also provide income from the ‘Feed-In Tariff’, which will come into force from April this year.  This will pay householders 41.3p for every kWh they produce with solar PV, wind or hydro micro-generation, regardless of whether they use it all themselves.  The excess can then be sold to the grid for a further 3p per kWh.  This will be guaranteed for 25 years, index linked, giving people an average return of 9% on their investment, vastly reducing the pay-back time for the technologies (see http://www.fitariffs.co.uk/).

People attending the meeting were very interested indeed in this idea, and were asking if there was any way they could get involved, even though solar panels would be very unlikely to get planning permission in their streets, being a conservation area.  Craig mentioned a ‘Rent-a-Roof’ scheme, where people pay for a share in solar panels, for example, on a school roof, and then get a proportionate share in the profit from the feed-in tariff, and the school getting the free electricity.

The meeting was particularly fruitful in that lots of those attending were able to get personalised energy saving/generating advice from Jenny Davey and Craig, and also volunteers came forward to get actively involved in the Green Streets project.  Wonderful!