Solar Panels for Churches
Religious Buildings and Solar Panels
It has been estimated that religious buildings could use solar panels to save millions of pounds each year and also collectively earn themselves almost £30 million from Feed in Tariffs or FITs. Religious buildings including churches, synagogues and mosques often have south facing roofs which are ideal for solar panel installations and all religious buildings would benefit from generating their own electricity without producing harmful pollutants or noise.
Solar Panels for Churches
It has been reported that a majority of churches face the east or the west which means that they will have a south facing roof which is ideal for the installation of solar panels. A good example is St James Church in Piccadilly which installed a 5kW solar panel system consisting of 34 solar panels in November 2005.
The solar panels are estimated to save 1.8 tons of CO2 every year and earn the church more than £1000 over the same period from Feed in tariffs for renewable energy. A St James Church spokes person claimed that the move was intended to prove to the community that renewable technology could be incorporated into a Grade 1 listed historic building and to demonstrate the benefits of solar power to their 5,000 weekly visitors.
Synagogues and Solar
Maidenhead Synagogue is reported to be the first UK Synagogue to have installed solar panels to address the Jewish belief in sustainability and caring for the environment. In a move that cost £20,000 Maidenhead Synagogue proved that a Synagogue can be run in an environmentally friendly way and is reported to earn £1,500 a year from FITs. Knowing that the cash payments from FITs are guaranteed by the UK government for 25 years means that Synagogues can rest assured that their energy bills can remain substantially reduced for decades into the future.
Mosques with Solar Panels
Mosques can also benefit from having solar panels fitted for their electricity demands and Manchester's first Eco-Mosque opened in 2008 with a rooftop array of solar panels powering their lighting system and electrical appliances. Religious buildings with solar panels can lead their respective communities by example and encourage the uptake of renewable sources of energy at the same time as earning cash from Feed in Tariffs.
Most religious buildings will be able to apply for grants to help with the initial solar panels cost including installation and materials. Finding the best solar panel supplier experienced at installing solar panels for religious buildings should be done using an established solar energy information website that can compare the prices from the top solar installers and help review grant and funding options.