Green for go: Kings Langley energy group’s project gets under way

The Barn at Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley, now has 66 solar'panels installed thanks to the Grand Union Community Energy group.
The Barn at Rudolf Steiner School, Kings Langley, now has 66 solar'panels installed thanks to the Grand Union Community Energy group.

Work has begun on the first solar panel project run by a Kings Langley community energy group.

Planning permission for more than 180 solar panels on the roof of Rudolf Steiner School was granted earlier this month, and the installation will be completed by the beginning of next week.

The school’s estates manager Nicholas Rayment said: “There will be no disruption to the beginning of the school term as all the work should be finished by Sunday or Monday, weather permitting.

“There will still be work to do with connections and things that have to be made, but after that we will follow on with things like getting a monitor and engaging students with the panels during the academic year.”

The panels could reduce carbon emissions by 400 tonnes, the equivalent of 33 households’ average emissions.

The energy-saving scheme is run by the Grand Union Community Energy committee, or GUCE (pronounced ‘juice’), whose shareholders can also get cashback from the project throught the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the government’s Feed-in Tariffs, which pay for every kilowatt per hour of electricity generated from renewable sources.

The group’s secretary John Ingleby said: “We are very grateful for the tremendous support received from the local community, which enabled us to raise the funds needed for the installation, allowing the project to be completed during the last two weeks of the school holiday.”

GUCE also recently secured £1,000 of funding from Dacorum’s Den to help produce a ‘toolkit’ of its experiences to learn from for future projects.

John added: “We very pleased to receive the Dacorum’s Den award, which we will use to prepare a ‘toolkit’ so that other local groups embarking on similar projects may benefit from our experience. Hopefully we can help other groups avoid some of the pitfalls and complexities we encountered over the last 9 months working on this project.”