Hart District Council has taken a big step towards its climate change commitments and installed solar panels on its office building in Fleet. Works were delivered through Portsmouth City Council’s Central Southern England Multi Contractor Framework Agreement for the Design, Supply & Installation of Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Panel Systems & Associated Equipment. Portsmouth City Council procured and managed the project, ensuring the best value for money for Hart District Council.
The Civic Offices in Harlington Way is used by the Council and other tenants such as the Police, Hart Voluntary Action, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and ACAS for their office staff. Hart District Council has owned the building since 1987 and has made other green improvements over the past few years, including upgrading 80% of lighting to LEDs, reusing hardware such as air conditioning units from the old Hart Leisure Centre and improving access to bicycle storage. Hart District Council has committed to being a carbon neutral authority by 2035 and carbon neutral district by 2040.
The installation consists of a roof mounted system consisting of 121 solar PV panels, which should generate as much as 57,000kWh of electricity a year – the equivalent of powering 20 average homes each year. This will save 11.5 tonnes of CO2e per annum, the equivalent of over 11 hot air balloons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere each year. The pay back on investment could be in as little as seven to ten years, and any excess electricity will be sold back to the grid for a modest income for the Council.
Councillor David Neighbour, Leader of Hart District Council, said: “This is an important investment for the Council, and a sensible one given the steep increases in energy prices that are affecting us all. Our solar panels will not only help shield us from future energy price increases but make a huge difference to our carbon footprint as a council.”
Hart District Council has committed to becoming a carbon neutral district by 2040 and will work with partners and local communities to achieve this goal, drawing on local, national and global best practice.