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Village celebrates 'solar-powered' hall

village hall PV panelsThe village of Derrington, near Stafford, has marked completion of an energy makeover of its village hall with a special launch. The event, formally opened by Stafford's mayor, Cllr Malcolm Millichap, was the culmination of an 18-month scheme to upgrade the energy efficiency of the entire building, making the hall a model for other communities to follow.

Solar panels on Derrington Village Hall will earn the community an estimated £2000 per year

Three flat roofs have been replaced with newly insulated ones; zoning of the heating system has given much greater control and flexibility, and 24 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have been positioned on the roof, so the the building now makes its own electricity. All this is designed to make the hall warmer, easier and cheaper to run, and more sustainable; moreover, the hall now receives an income from the electricity generated by the solar panels, thanks to the feed-in tariff.

The project has been overseen by the Hall's management committee, with support from the Derrington Way Ahead low-carbon community project. Income from the solar electricity is being used to benefit the community, so for example, certain groups in the village can now use the hall at specially subsidized rates, or even for free. audience

The initial step was an energy audit of the Hall, undertaken in October 2009. This indicated which measures would be most cost-effective. Following strenuous efforts to secure funding, and tendering for the various tasks, the work was completed in October 2010, with the fitting of the solar panels.

Cllr Ray Sutherland of the Village Hall Committee, outlines the history of the Hall to the invited audience

Funding

Funding for the scheme has been provided by several sources, including: Staffordshire Environmental Fund via the Landfill Communities Fund; the Rural Development Programme for England Communities Mean Business Leader Programme; Stafford Borough Council (Communmity Centres and Village Halls Grant); Staffordshire County Council's Local Community Fund; and Derrington Village Hall Committee.

Karen DaviesKaren Davies of Stafford Borough Council describes
the achievements of the Derrington Way Ahead project

Derrington Way Ahead

The energy-efficient village hall is the latest step in the Derrington Way Ahead project. This started in 2009, with the aim of transforming the village into the first low-carbon community in Stafford Borough. The project's steering group has organised a series of events and initiatives covering various aspects of sustainability, including free household energy audits, two local food festivals, film seasons, talks, and treeplanting. More information about the project can be found on the Derrington Village Hall website.

Contractors

The work was undertaken by the following contractors:

  • Zoning of the heating system: Saga Gas, Parkfield Business Centre, Park St, Stafford, Staffordshire ST17 4AL. Tel: 01785 247774
  • Roofing insulation system: Polyglass (GB) Ltd, Unit 1, Electrium Point, Ashmore Lake Way, Willenhall, WV12 4HD. Tel. 01902 637422 (http://www3.polyglass.com/).
  • Solar PV installation: Havenkaye Solar Energy Ltd (http://www.photovoltaicsnottinghamshire.co.uk/)