Solar panels will halve energy costs for Cornerstone centre
By Laura Herbert
August 14, 2012
Thousands of pounds have been raised by a congregation at a Wokingham church and community centre to install solar panels to reduce its carbon footprint.
People rallied round and collected almost £14,000 to help pay towards the installation of 36 solar panels on the roof of The Cornerstone community centre in Norreys Avenue.
The energy-saving panels, which will provide around half of the electricity needed to power the centre, were installed on Friday, July 27.
Building and installation costs came to £23,000 and the team behind the planning application put forward a bid to EDF for funding that would have covered half the cost, but it was unsuccessful.
Instead, members of All Saints Church and the community centre raised more than half the money needed and the rest of the cash was borrowed from church funds.
All Saints Church warden John Smith said: “We did it because of the Church of England’s commitment to reduce its dependence on energy that releases carbon dioxide.
“The logic is that the environment is a precious resource which we must share with everybody.
“We are a long way towards making the reduction in carbon dioxide that the church aims to do by 2020, and I think we are well on our way to do that for our two buildings.
“The good news is that we will get about half the electricity we need for The Cornerstone, which uses most of the electricity as the church has relatively low usage.”
The plans were given the go-ahead by Wokingham Borough Council in April, after a previous application to install solar panels on the west-facing roof was refused in December. Mr Smith added: “It was a significant number of people who put forward money and we were pleased people thought this is an issue important enough to give money to.
“There are quite a lot of climate change sceptics around and it is good to know people locally are aware of the issue and are willing to put their money behind it.”
Source: Get Wokingham