Borough council decides on £1 million roof

Business banking news review: week ending 19 March 2015

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has decided to act on its plans to install a £1 million roof in the borough in an attempt to save some cash in the future.

No, it’s not an example of counter-intuitive political processes, and it’s not entirely true that it’s just one roof worth £1 million. Instead the council will be fitting as many as six buildings it owns with solar panels.

Of course this isn’t the first time the council has sent roofers scrambling up the sides of council buildings to fit solar panels up there. In fact, the local authority has invested heavily in schemes at the Beresford Centre and Whiteditch Depot.

Mears, the sub-contractor for Peterborough City Council, has already gone out and undertaken a feasibility study in order to see what kind of financial and technical requirements need to b met before undertaking the project. 15 council-owned buildings have been surveyed so far, such as let out buildings like the Basingstoke Aquadrome and the Anvil and Haymarket theatres and buildings such as Deanes and Parklands at the Civic Offices.

With solar energy taking off as a viable alternative to fossil fuels like oil and gas, it’s likely that it won’t be long before we’ll begin to see teams of roofing specialists set to work on borough council buildings in order to fit them with photovoltaic cells. Not only is it an environmentally friendly option – and one that helps reduce British dependence on foreign oil by generating more energy on British shores – it’s also a fantastic way to manage costs for a local authority as well.

In fact, depending on the type of solar cells that are fitted to the council buildings, the amount of electricity these buildings generate might actually exceed the amount of electricity they use. In situations like that, it’s possible to actually sell electricity back to the power grid, meaning that the council will actually be making money from its solar cells. They kind of end up paying for themselves in no time – which is why the’re such a good investment, and why if you’re whinging about how local authorities are spending taxpayer money on useless rubbish you should pretty much go fly a kite.

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