July 13, 2010

Solar panels could raise £17m for UK churches

by David Masters

If all Britain’s churches installed solar panels on their roofs, they’d not only abolish their energy bill, they’d also raise over £17 million a year by selling excess electricity.

Research by British Gas found Britain’s religious buildings could generate over £29 million a year through Feed-in Tariffs, a system that pays households and organisations for generating renewable electricity.

Churches alone would raise £17.3 million, as well as cutting their £2.7 million energy bill to zero.

“These potential savings are great news for the UK’s religious buildings and their congregations, and give them the opportunity to lead their communities in tackling climate change and helping Britain move towards a low carbon society,” said Phil Bentley, managing director of British Gas.

“Religious buildings are particularly well suited to solar power as they tend to have large south-facing roofs which receive direct sunlight for the main part of the day.”

Church representatives welcomed the findings, but pointed out that not all UK churches could install solar panels because of planning and architecture conservation laws.

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