The Problem... Rising energy bills
The Pollyfield Centre is a bedrock of the community in East-the-Water and the wider Bideford area, providing a range of vital services and social spaces for local residents since 1982. However, as familiar to many of us, rising utility costs have become a burden on the trustees - whose hard work despite these challenges has ensured the centre continues to thrive.
The Solution... Renewable energy!
Nevertheless, in order to give added financial security to the Pollyfield and its users in the years to come, the installation of solar panels has been proposed. This will not only slash the centre's utility bills by approximately £700 / year, freeing up funds for community lunches, coffee mornings and other maintenance but also reduce its carbon emissions by 1660 kg/year.
Finally, the project aims to tackle fuel poverty in the wider population through the tariff income generated by the solar panels. In parts of Torridge, more than 1 in 5 households severely struggle with paying to heat and power their home. North Devon based 361 Energy CIC are established in delivering a reduction in fuel poverty via home visits and advice clinics. The exact revenue will depend on the timing of the tariff accreditation but could provide up to £475 towards supporting their work locally, through seasonal energy clinics to be hosted at the Pollyfield itself.
361 have been working alongside Bideford Town Council to set up a renewable project under the name Atlantic Community Energy (ACE). The basic idea of ACE is to secure revenue from local clean electricity generation to tackle fuel poverty in the area. We are currently investigating the feasibility of larger projects, so this could be the start of something big!