The Greening of Spaxton’s Village Hall

The experts tell us that if our roof doesn’t face a southerly direction it may not be worthwhile investing in PV.  Alison Jarah has written this case study for us showing that Spaxton Village Hall has proved that an East-West facing roof can give excellent returns.

“In 2009 with utility costs rising Spaxton Village Hall committee decided to initiate an energy efficiency ‘makeover’ to reduce our costs and encourage sustainability within the community. Quotes were obtained for replacement double glazed windows, cavity wall insulation, solid roof and top-up loft insulation to bring the total thickness up to modern building regulations (270mm).

“In addition a bank of 52 photovoltaic panels producing 9.36 kWp was proposed and as the Hall faces East/West it was decided to split the array so 26 panels faced in each direction. The Hall was very lucky to receive grants from LARC (Local Action for Rural Communities) and Viridor Landfill Credits. With completion in November 2010, we can now assess the benefits.

“Firstly oil consumption: there is no mains gas in the village. Oil top-up dates vary, but by averaging previous years’ usage we can see our oil use has dropped by at least 20% due to our increased insulation, no mean achievement!

“Electricity consumption: this is easier to judge and even allowing for extra bookings resulting from increased publicity, ‘bought in electricity’ has dropped by 30% as the photovoltaics provided the extra.

“Finally the PV panels themselves: although normally panels would be installed on a South facing roof, our main roof faces due East/West. We were advised that even with this orientation we would achieve 85% of SAP (standardised national) figures. In fact, as we are in the sunny South West, in their first year our panels generated 88% of the predicted output, a total of 7,065 kWh, with the West array generating faster.

“In addition the Hall derives significant and much needed income from the Feed-In Tariff, over £2600 in 2011! This has been a very positive experience and we would highly recommend considering both energy efficiency and micro-generation projects.”

For more information please contact Alison on merry_tiller50@yahoo.com