﻿Village hall could be first to become carbon neutral
Randwick Village Hall near Stroud in Gloucestershire could become the UK’s first carbon-neutral village hall following a major grant-aided refurbishment that includes solar PV and a ground-source heat pump. The hall received 100% grant funding from a variety of sources, including the Government’s Low Carbon Buildings Programme (LCBP2) and Stroud District Council, for its extensive £70 000 programme of improvements.
Solar PV panels on the roof can generate up to 7 MWh a year, and the electricity is used to power a Dimplex ground-source heat pump to provide heating and hot water for showers installed by Ecovision, which required 75% less energy to run than the original system. Any surplus electricity is exported to the national grid. The savings on heating energy were over £300 during the first six months of operation, and it is planned to generate an estimated £1200 in revenue from selling excess energy and renewable obligation certificates.
The heat pump runs continuously, so there are no heating ‘highs and lows’. Even during the cold weather last winter, no supplementary heating was required. The hall’s electricity bills have been reduced by 25%.
The refurbishment also included PVC double glazing with thermally insulating k glass to reduce heat loss from the main hall by 30%. The heat pump is in the plant room, with collectors beneath the adjacent playing fields.
Chris Davis, head of renewables at Dimplex, explains, ‘There is substantial funding available for village halls and not-for-profit organisations seeking to reduce fuel costs and energy emissions, and Randwick is a superb example of what can be achieved.’