Solar panels to slash energy costs for village community hub by £7k

Acle Recreation Centre is to have 246 solar panels installed

Acle Recreation Centre is to have 246 solar panels installed - Credit: Simon Darter

Hundreds of solar panels are to be installed on the roof of a village's community hub to save £7,000 a year on energy costs.

The 246 energy-producing panels are to be set on the roof of Acle Recreation Centre.

The scheme will cost £78,000 and the work on the Broadland village hall is due to be completed by the first week of February.

At the moment the centre's energy costs £20,000 a year, about 10pc of the site's annual running costs.

It is hoped the panels will slash £7,000 from the centre's annual energy bill, with the savings being poured back into the centre, which has an indoor bowling area, a social club, rooms for groups and meetings and tennis courts.

The money for the 246 solar panels comes from an European CO2 reduction funding grant of £23,000, an Acle Parish Council grant of £20,000 and a parish council interest free £10,000 loan over ten years, with the rest of the funds provided by the centre.

Simon Darter is a trustee at the centre and is leading the funding for the project.

Simon Darter is leading the solar panel project

Simon Darter is leading the solar panel project - Credit: Simon Darter

He said the centre was run on "fine margins" and the impact of Covid would lead to an impact on finances - hence the need for the panels.

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He said: "The predicted energy savings is £7,000 per year.

"These energy savings would make a significant difference each year going forward to our ability to support our ongoing initiatives and future improvements at the centre.

"This will continue to allow us to help provide the facilities and activities that our community enjoys and benefits from."

Mr Darter was also keen to point out the other benefit of having the solar panels, which will go on top of the bowls area of the centre.

He said: "This is also a green project. We will generate clean energy on site and reduce our carbon emissions.

"Climate change is high on the world's agenda and we want to play our part by being responsible and by planning for the future."

Mr Darter also wanted to thank Acle Parish Council for its support on the green energy scheme.