Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Solar Panels Give Derby Victorian Church Help and Inspiration from Above

The Rev Derek Honour, front, with his congregation inside the church, which now generates
its own electricity from 100 solar panels fixed to its roof.
Inset, the panels on the church.
A VICTORIAN Derby church has found a hi-tech solution to help people see the light.

St Barnabas's Church, in Radbourne Street, is now fitted out with 100 solar panels to generate electricity, resulting in about £35,000 savings, as well as profit, for the church over 20 years.

The Rev Derek Honour said the £41,000 project was important to help to combat climate change.

He said: "We want to try to reduce our carbon footprint. If we don't do something as a nation, we're going to get what's called catastrophic climate change, which would be much, much worse."

He also said that it was Christians' responsibility to look after the planet, according to the Bible.

He said: "As Christians, we believe that God has entrusted the Earth to us as stewards. He has entrusted us to care for the Earth, a bit like a landlord.

"In not looking after the Earth, we are accountable to God."

Mr Honour said he had been inspired to take the move after a church in Melbourne had solar panels fitted in 2011 – becoming one of the first churches in the UK to do so.

The money used to fund the panels project came from a permanent endowment fund, which had been created through the sale of land and garages belonging to the church.

These funds were originally intended for use constructing a new building for the church, but Mr Honour said he managed to get some of it released for the solar panel project.

He said: "We thought the money would be appropriate to use because it would go towards improving the church building as well as providing free electricity while the sun is shining.

"The panels will be able to generate up to 25Kw of electricity per hour."

The church will also receive money as part of a Government scheme to encourage people to use greener energy sources.

Mr Honour said: "The Government works out how much electricity it thinks we'll generate over a year and how much of that we will use.

"It pays at least 6.85p and up to 12p for each kilowatt we generate. Any excess electricity we generate is fed back into the National Grid."


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