Doncaster village community centre installs solar panels to tackle cost of living crisis

Bosses of a Doncaster community centre have installed solar panels in a bid to beat energy price rises and the cost of living crisis.
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Hatfield Woodhouse Village Hall has undertaken the move after grants helped subsidise the work.

Chairman Ian Weeks said: “Over a year ago, prior to the war In Ukraine, the secretary of the management committee began to investigate the possibility of reducing our carbon footprint as well as our energy bills by the installation of solar power panels.

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"The massive impact of the energy price rises in 2022 seriously impacted the hall’s ongoing financial viability, to the extent that investment in such a scheme had to be put on the back burner.

Solar panels have been installed at Hatfield Woodhouse Village Hall.Solar panels have been installed at Hatfield Woodhouse Village Hall.
Solar panels have been installed at Hatfield Woodhouse Village Hall.

“The hall had prided its self in not raising its charges for 15 years, since the last financial crash occurred.

"Unfortunately, last November the decision had to be taken to raise its charges by 10%, not enough to cover the energy price hike, but as much as the committee felt its loyal users could bear in present circumstances.

“With the hall’s viability somewhat improved, in the short term at least, the decision was taken to revisit the solar project.

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Various grant funding bodies were approached and the hall was incredibly fortunate to obtain a “very substantial grant” from Well Doncaster towards phase one of the project, the installation of solar panels on the roof of the building.

He added: “Though these are invisible they are already in action. We were also doubly fortunate to be granted a further large sum from The Tween Bridge Wind Farm Community Fund, towards Phase Two, the installation of the battery storage array. This too is now commissioned.”

Added Mr Weeks: “The hall would like to publicly thank both the grant giving bodies for their generosity and help in ensuring the hall’s future viability.

“However, there is still much to do to improve the hall and ensure its continuing viability as a much-used local asset. Having completed phases one and two of the energy security plan, this year will see us turning our attention to phases 3 and 4.

"These are the potential doubling of the solar collection and battery storage and the replacement of the decades old heating control system with a new more targeted and responsive control system.”

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