Over the past three months solar panels have been installed on 10 community buildings including places of worship, community and council buildings and charity headquarters in and around Reading. That’s a total of 176kWp of solar panels! The panels have been funded by the people of Reading and renewable energy supporters nationwide. Over 120 people invested over £230k in the project. This is the first scheme of its kind in Reading. Reading Community Energy Society was created by local volunteers, known as the Berkshire Energy Pioneers, the local council and Energy4All who have over 12 years experience in the community green energy sector. The Society has been set up so that after a fair return of 5% has been paid to investors, the profits, estimated to be £260,000 over the 20 year life of the project, will go back to the community as part of a community fund. Tony Hoskins, Chair of Reading Community Energy Society, explains:
The main objectives of the project is to help reduce energy bills of the community buildings involved, improve the sustainability of our community, reduce climate change emissions and improve energy security. We are looking forward to working with the building owners and users and local community to ensure the project delivers these benefits.