Solar panels installed on county council building

West Sussex County Council is expecting to save £5,900 in a year after installing photovoltaic panels on one if its buildings in Chichester.

Thursday, 21st February 2013, 8:55 am

The solar panels were installed on the Grange block, at County Hall in Chichester, by the Council’s Carbon Management Team in partnership with SSE Contracting, will also save the council more than 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

The cost of the panels was £58,000, and this cost is expected to have covered itself within seven years. It’s estimated that the 40 kilowatt solar panels will generate an average of 29,582 kilowatt hours of electricity per annum over the next 20 years.

The County Council is expecting an annual income and energy bill saving of £5,900 in the first year, which will total approximately £220,000 over 20 years (depending on annual inflation rates). During the 20 year period, the County Council will save 544 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources Michael Brown said: “The installation of the panels will not only save the County Council, and therefore council tax payers, a substantial amount of money over the years by generating free electricity, but will also help reduce our carbon emissions.

“This forms part of the County Council’s drive to be more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and make savings, so reducing our utility bills and our carbon footprint.”

The photovoltaic (PV) panels are in addition to a smaller eight kilowatt PV system already on top of the Northleigh building, giving a total of just under 50 kilowatt of PV for the County Hall campus.

Other initiatives by the County Council include installing smart meters in all County Council buildings, working with schools and academies to support better energy management in their buildings, and projects such as draught-proofing, loft and cavity wall insulation, and energy efficient lighting and heating system upgrades.