3 Apr 13

Bristol church receives major cash boost

A church near Bristol has received tens of thousands of pounds from EDF Energy to help it become more energy efficient by generating its own power.

The £30,000 grant comes from the EDF Energy Green Fund and will help pay for an air source heat pump that will be powered by new solar panels installed on the roof at All Saints Church in Long Ashton, Bristol.

The Grade II listed community church needs an upgrade of its old heating system, which dates back to the Victorian era. It is hoped that the combination of new renewable technologies will meet up to 80 per cent of the church’s electricity and heating needs, for the benefit of worshipers and community groups that use the church, whilst saving money and reducing energy consumption.

Dr Neil Turp, churchwarden at All Saints Church, said: “We’re delighted that the EDF Energy Green Fund is able to help make this exciting project a reality. The £30,000 grant will allow us to install 40 square metres of solar panels that will generate enough electricity to power our heat pump to keep the church warm. We hope to be a beacon for other community groups to showcase our project and inform how important it is to invest in new sustainable technologies, if you can, as generating our own power is going to be really beneficial to our future.”

The EDF Energy Green Fund supports renewable energy projects which produce power from the sun, wind, water and geothermal sources that reduce greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The church has run courses within the community on environmentally-friendly ways to make home improvements and will be using the project to explain the benefits of the different technologies available. The installation of the project is due to be completed this year with funding also received from the Government’s Community Sustainability Education Programme, local diocese of Bath & Wells and the Beatrice Laing Trust.

Darren Towers, EDF Energy’s Head of Sustainability, said: “EDF Energy has been able to invest millions of pounds in small-scale renewable projects like this exciting project at All Saints Church in Bristol. It’s all part of our commitment to building a low carbon future for the UK, something that helps communities and protects the environment now and into the future.”

Since the Green Fund was launched in 2001, EDF Energy has awarded more than £5 million to 305 renewable energy projects in the UK. More than £2 million has been given to 129 educational projects – including those in schools, nurseries and colleges.

Mr Towers added: “EDF Energy Green Fund renewable projects operate up and down the country. As well as producing renewable energy, they are a fantastic way to educate communities – and particularly children – in the importance and benefits of low carbon.”

In all, ten projects have been awarded £127,490 in the latest EDF Energy Green Fund funding round.

Awards of up to £30,000 are available for projects in Great Britain and such funds have helped schools, charities, local authorities, churches, water mills and other non-profit organisations to generate clean, green energy in their own community.