Sidford Social Hall goes solar!

SOLAR power at Sidford Social Hall will help cut electricity bills at the valued venue.

Work to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on the roof of the Byes Lane hub began this week.

The Sid Vale Association’s (SVA) Keith Owen Fund Committee contributed �4,500 towards the project.

“The installation of solar panels will enable the hall to lower its energy cost and generate further income in the future - which will benefit all the hirers and improve our environmental footprint,” said hall chairman David Baker.

Mr Baker, and treasurer Colin Kingman, thanked the SVA for its grant help and also praised installation firm Ford and Sons for its assistance.

SVA leaders congratulated the social hall’s management committee for taking on “an important initiative”.

“It has risen to the challenge of increasing fuel costs. It has responded to the need to reduce carbon levels globally. The decision to use the latest technology available in solar voltaic cells will undoubtedly achieve positive results in both respects,” said the Reverend Handel Bennett, chairman of the Keith Owen Fund.

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“The fund has been delighted to have played a part in making the project possible. We hope the example of the hall management committee will encourage others to contact us if they need funding to complete a project within the Sid Valley,” added secretary Barry Jones.

Ford and Sons’ workers set about installing the four kilowatt photovoltaic system this week. Bad weather delayed the start of work on Monday.

Mike Ford, a director of the business, said Government cuts in solar energy subsidies meant customers were dismissing the idea of PV panels as “no longer feasible”.

“They should think again,” he said.

“Panels are here to stay as a clean, green alternative.”

He added the new feedback tariff of 21pence would still “produce a good rate of return” .

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