Solar panels set to cut Beehive’s energy bills

The Honiton Beehive. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 2243-34-14AW

The Honiton Beehive. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref mhh 2243-34-14AW - Credit: Archant

Solar panels have been installed on the roof of The Beehive in Honiton - and will reduce the carbon footprint of the centre by 13.5 tonnes a year.

The 89 panels, which will provide 25,472 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, were installed by Exeter Community Energy (ECOE).

Cllr Caroline Kolek, Honiton’s mayor, said: “It is important that we uphold the green agenda and reduce our carbon footprint wherever possible. The town council had always hoped to install solar panels on the community centre but due to limited funds were unable to do so at construction stage.

“To have succeeded now at no cost to Honiton tax payers is a huge bonus. We are very pleased to have worked in partnership with ECOE, a community-funded energy organisation, in order to meet our goal of reducing our carbon footprint as well as reducing our energy bills. I would also like to thank our town clerk, Chetna Jones, who has spent a huge amount of time ensuring that all structural and legal objectives were met.”

Exeter Community Energy is a not-for-profit social enterprise with more than 200 members and has invested £390,000 for eight solar installations at no cost to the host sites.

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Gill Wyatt, executive chairman, said: “It has been great working with Honiton Town Council and The Beehive. It’s important to ECOE that we can create community-owned solar installations that provides low-carbon solar energy, which is both less expensive and will have an educational role in such a well-used community centre.”

Cllr David Perkins, a council-appointed director of The Beehive, added: “The installation will not only benefit the environment but will also reduce the energy costs of the building by over £36,000 over the 20-year lifetime of the contract.”

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