City Council announce plan to become self-sufficient in low carbon energy

As reported on Pits n Pots 2 weeks ago, Stoke-on-Trent a city self sufficient in low carbon energy?, Stoke-on-Trent City Council yesterday announced that they are one of just six authorities nationwide to make it to the second stage of the ‘Creative Councils’ programme, securing £150,000. The funding will help the council create a trail-blazing local authority power company which will help the city become self-sufficient in low carbon energy – a first under the 2011 Localism Act. Continue reading

Solar Panels On Stoke-on-Trent Civic Centre Set To Exceed Target

The 198 solar panels which were installed on Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Civic Centre building in Stoke in April 2011 have already generated 93% of the predicted target for the first year.

In just eight months the panels generated 27,620 kWh of electricity against an expectation of 30,000 kWh of energy in a full year. Additionally, the panels are attracting the highest feed-in tariff for generating zero carbon electricity from the government for the next 25 years, because they were installed and registered last April. It is estimated that this will see the council receive £9,400 a year.

Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for city services, said

It is fantastic news that so much clean, green energy has already been produced. The solar panels are proving to be a sound investment, not just in financial terms, but also in the positive impact they are having on the environment, and as part of our plans to be a sustainable city. 

As well as providing a constant stream of income, they will also reduce the council’s carbon dioxide emissions by 400 tonnes over their lifetime. This sends out a really strong message that we are committed to improving the environment for future generations. 

There is a deal of uncertainty around the government’s plans for the feed-in tariff for the future. However, I’m pleased to say that this scheme was put in place well before the deadline the government set before Christmas for installations to benefit from the higher tariff. 

We know that a number of other solar panel schemes in the city weren’t able to be completed before the deadline, and we have made strong representations to the government against this.  

However, the performance of the panels shows that they are a very viable way of producing sustainable energy.

The 198 panels were installed onto south and south west facing roofs of the Civic Centre, and cost £134,500 from the council’s existing climate change budget. The estimated £3000 a year saving on electricity costs will mean the panels will have paid for themselves and beging to generate a profit in a mere 45 years. 

Council’s Solar Panels Exceed Expectations In First Month

Pitsnpots reported last month on the unveiling of 198 solar panels atop the Civic Centre’s roof. It was predicted by the council that the panels would generate £12,400 in savings per year (or £1033 per month).

Today, it has been announced the solar panels have helped save £1,750 in their first month of operation – beating their target.

The Lord Mayor, Denver Tolley, who unveiled the panels in April, said:

“We wanted to launch the panels in time for the spring and summer seasons. There has already been plenty of sun over the lastmonth, so the amount of electricity produced has been particularly high.”

According to Met Office figures, April 2011 was the driest on record resulting in high levels of sun.

Figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change at the Council show the panels generated 4,129kw/h in their first month.

The average house in the city consumes 3,638kw/h in electricity per year.

In 2009/10 the council spent £147,000 on electricity for the Civic Centre, a building which covers four floors and has space for over700 workers. If the solar panels meet expectations, the same bill would be reduced by approximately 8.5%

Stoke-on-Trent City Council last year signed up with E. ON to deliver millions of pounds worth of green energy investment.

Today, solar panels are installed on 54 Chell Heath council properties and it has been announced final touches are being put to a scheme which will result in over 1,000 Stoke-on-Trent City Council properties fitted with similar panels.

The Lord Mayor said: “The solar panels are working really well, and are already showing an excellent return. The most pleasing aspect is that the energy they are producing is completely green, so as well as saving money, they are also saving the environment ““ it is a win-win situation.”

City Council Are Investing In Sunshine

Lord Mayor Denver Tolley unveiled 198 brand new solar panels atop the Civic Centre in Stoke on Tuesday and described the installation as a “fantastic achievement for Stoke-on-Trent”.

The panels stretch across the south facing side of the roof and will generate an estimated 30,000kw/h in energy ““ enough to power 150 computers for eight hours every working day.

The Civic Centre, on Glebe Street, used £147,000 of electricity in 2009/10. The solar panels are estimated to reduce the bill by £3,000.

The panels are expected to last 25 years, and cover their installation costs within 14 years.

Alongside the electricity saving, the panels will benefit from £9,400 in government tariffs for producing zero carbon electricity, generating a total £12,400 per annum.

It’s as good as having money in the bank. The investment is a good investment.

We know in the long run it will pay the city back. If you keep looking backwards and not forwards, you’re not going to modernise. You’re not going to advance enough. Well, here we are advancing in front of everyone.

The 198 panels are still a long way off making the Civic Centre zero-carbon. 700 people are employed at the Civic Centre and with lighting, equipment and other machines to power, many more solar panels would be required to make the Civic Centre entirely green.

However, the panels will reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 400 tonnes in their lifetime, according to the Council.

In Stoke-on-Trent you have to lead by example, and that is what the City Council is doing… They’ve fought very hard to get this investment to where it is.

Staffords Sun Inn To Use Alternate Energy

Titanic has become among the first breweries to install cutting edge equipment to chill its beer and provide heat for customers.

The Burslem brewer has teamed up with Geo Bar as part of the development of the Sun Inn, Stafford, which opens to the public next Thursday (22 July).

The Geo Bar heat recovery system takes excess heat created by pubs’ chilling equipment ““ which is usually expelled outside the building and lost – and uses it to heat water, either for direct use or in the heating system.

As well as saving money on energy bills, the Sun Inn will save 34,230kg of C02 emissions every year – the equivalent of 750 journeys from Stafford to London and back in a family car, or planting eight football pitches of rain forest.

Keith Bott, Managing Director of Titanic Brewery, said, ‘We are among the first in the country to install this energy saving system and the very first new pub to do so. It fits in with our philosophy of helping to conserve energy where possible to help the environment. We support the movement towards localism, buying local food for our pub customers where possible to cut down on food miles.’