Amey grant helps Grafham Parish Council to reduce carbon and energy bills

16 March 2020
Image of a roof with solar panels and scaffolding.

The Amey Community Fund recently granted Grafham Parish Council just over £30,000 towards energy efficiency improvements which will significantly reduce energy bills and carbon emissions from the Village Hall and Shop.

The grant was awarded to the Parish Council towards the cost of installing energy efficiency measures, including:

- Solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery storage

- New double glazed windows

- Improved loft insulation

- LED lighting

The Parish Council’s objective in applying for the grant was to reduce the energy consumption of the village hall and adjacent community shop, and to improve the hall's comfort and environment. The estimated annual saving in electricity is £2,000 and the CO2 reduction equates to 2.9 tonnes per year.

The project is innovative. The Solar PV system uses East and West facing arrays of solar panels, with none on the South face of the Hall. This maximises the usable energy available from the sun, rather than the purely South facing arrays of the past geared up to maximising ‘Feed-in Tarif’ (FIT) payments – government subsidy. Analysis carried out for the Parish Council shows that this provides the best performance and value for money in the absence of FIT payments for new systems.

This is not the first installation of this form, but currently relatively few exist – Grafham’s project could be an example to inform other community organisations and businesses who are considering switching to renewables to save money and reduce carbon emissions.

The battery storage system enables the facility to save energy generated during daylight hours during the evening when the hall is often in use.

Amey’s Account Director Jonathan Jones said: “This important project shows that community organisations can really make a difference in reducing carbon emissions whilst also saving money. It would be great to see more projects like this across Cambridgeshire, following in the trailblazing footsteps of Grafham Parish Council.”

Grafham Parish Councillor David Russell said: ““Our grateful thanks go to Amey for their generosity in helping us achieve this significant project for the benefit of all living in and visiting Grafham.”

The Amey Community Fund, managed by the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, receives landfill tax credits from Amey and uses the money to make grants under set criteria. More than £6 million has been granted to date. You can find out more about the Fund here and view a map showing some of the projects the Fund has supported here.