The Chantry Centre in Dursley will soon receive a significant amount of their energy requirements through solar panels after a recent installation.
The charity has installed 30 solar panels on the roof of its building on Long Street, Dursley, which should be able to produce 10,000 units per year. At an initial cost of just over £23,000, the project could pay for itself in under two years, depending on electricity prices.
Originally built in 1926, The Chantry Centre is a welcoming and vibrant hub at the heart of the community and a unique home to a wide variety of local community groups and events. Over the next couple of years, the charity will be undertaking a wider refurbishment project to modernise and improve the sustainability and the accessibility of the building.
Richard Buckle, one of the Trustees at The Chantry Centre, said: “We have had great support from Stroud District Council through Section 106 funding in getting this going. The technology is not new but is a small step in the right direction. We are committed to sustainability and energy efficiency, and this project is part of a wider plan to reduce our carbon footprint as well as keeping our energy costs as low as possible. For example, as well as exploring alternative energy sources we are also looking to replace inefficient appliances throughout the building such as old fridges and freezers, and working on ways to reduce consumption. By modernising appliances we hope that we can reduce our consumption by up to 50%.”
The rise in energy bills is not only affecting the running costs of the building; the charity also recognises that this autumn and winter is going to be difficult for many in the local community.
Adrian Judge, Chair of Trustees said: “We are proud to be part of a local network of venues offering a warm welcome for the local community this winter. The Chantry Centre already hosts Dursley’s Food Bank, and we’re keen to do everything we can to support our community to face the challenges ahead, whilst also providing a central hub which brings people together. Every Thursday we are open from 10am until 4pm to provide a warm, welcoming space. Please do come along and make use of our facilities, support the Chantry Centre and find out more about what we do.”