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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > July 2013 > RE:FIT Project underway

Solar panels installed as pioneering upgrade programme gets underway

The first stage in a £1.7million project to reduce running costs, generate income and reduce carbon emissions at seven council properties has now been completed.


Allhallows multi-storey car park is the first of the properties to be completed. In order to minimise disruption, the works have taken place while the car park is refurbished as part of the bus station regeneration.


212 solar photovoltaic panels have been installed on the roof of Allhallows multi-storey car park, generating enough energy to power the car park and sell energy back to the National Grid.


The panels will save £1,964 in energy costs and 10.3 tonnes of CO2 per year and will also generate an income of just over £6,000 per year.


The installation of the solar panels is the first project to be delivered as part of the initial phase of the RE:FIT Project which will see improvements made to seven council properties in order to reduce their running costs and their environmental impact. In many cases they will also generate a secure ongoing annual income for the Council for the next 20 years.


The projects across the seven sites are expected to repay their implementation costs within 8 years. After this they will continue to save money and generate additional income for the Council.


Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “This project produces a win-win situation, with real benefits for local taxpayers and for our environment. Improvements to the Council’s properties will help to reduce their running costs and impact on the environment as well as generating a regular and sustainable income for the Council long into the future.”


“Many of the Council’s properties are older and do not meet modern efficiency standards. These projects will bring them up to modern standards and, crucially in these tough times, significantly reduce the cost to local taxpayers of running them.”


The Council is working with MITIE through the energy RE:FIT programme to deliver sustainable, long term, guaranteed energy savings and Richard Smith, Energy Director, commented: “The UK is facing a future squeeze on energy supply and much higher energy prices. Through the RE:FIT programme, projects incorporating energy reduction and renewable technologies are contributing to a more sustainable future, while keeping costs down for taxpayers.”


The seven properties which will see improvements as part of the initial phase of the RE:FIT project are:

• Allhallows multi-storey car park
• Borough Hall
• Robinson Pool
• Kempston Centre
• Jubilation Centre
• Bedford Central Library
• Bedford International Athletic Stadium


The next project will see the conversion of existing oil fired boilers to gas at Borough Hall, followed by the installation of a biomass boiler at the site. These technologies, replacing the out-of-date and inefficient oil boilers in the basement of the building, will collectively save over £62,000 in energy costs each year and generate an annual income to the Council of approximately £43,000.

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