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Hunstanton church invests £27K in solar panels

In an eco-conscious move, Hunstanton’s Our Lady of Perpetual Succour & St Edmund church invests £27,000 in solar panels, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and long-term economic savings.

In a progressive step towards sustainability, the church, located in the well-known seaside resort known locally as “Sunny Hunny”, has embraced solar energy, underscoring its commitment to environmental stewardship and economic foresight.

Stuart Grant, parish treasurer, who is involved in the initiative, explains the dual motive behind the investment: “To simply reduce the electrical costs to the church and the church house, and also from an environmental standpoint, as encouraged by Pope Francis, we believe it is right that we make whatever contribution we can to the achievement of Net Zero carbon emissions.”

With a total investment of £27,000 —without any grant assistance — the parish demonstrates its confidence in the long-term viability of solar energy. “We have the finances available,” added Chris Davey, Parish Civil Engineering advisor and a member of the Parish Steering Group. “we felt this was the best way to use the available finances.”

The project includes 27 solar panels, which will greatly contribute toward the electrical usage of the parish. The innovative addition of battery storage enhances the system’s flexibility, a key feature given the church’s variable energy needs.

“That gives us the opportunity to store any power when the excess is there, and then use it as and when, particularly for the church,” Stuart notes, highlighting the system’s adaptability.

The planned transition from gas to electric heating is a strategic move towards greater energy efficiency and cost savings. Chris points out the practical aspect of this shift: “Our intention is to try to maximise the way that we use whatever power is available.”

Despite its commitment to solar energy, the parish has retained a pragmatic approach by keeping the gas heating system as a backup, ensuring no disruption to church services.

The financial aspect of this venture is equally promising. Stuart reveals: “The calculations that we made so far indicate that we should get a return of our investment over about 10-12 years.”

Funding for this significant undertaking has come directly from parishioners’ contributions over the years, without specific fundraising efforts for the solar system. Stuart says: “our parish has a relatively elderly demographic and they are incredibly generous towards the church and the local community.”

Installed by Solar Energy Solutions Norfolk, the solar panels are expected to last around 25 years, potentially even longer. This longevity ensures sustained benefits for the parish, both environmentally and financially.

Pictured above are Stuart (left) and Chris (right) with some of the solar panels.