British Gas urges churches to go solarSolar panels could raise up to '£34m a year'

12 July 2010

British Gas urges churches to go solar: picture of a church steeple

© Kevin Eaves.
British Gas: religious buildings are well suited to solar power

Religious buildings could generate up to £34m a year by installing solar panels on their roofs, according to British Gas.

The energy giant has calculated that churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious centres could make savings of up to £5m a year on their electricity bills by using power generated from their own solar panels, and cut CO2 emissions by around 42,000 tonnes.

More than £29m a year could be additionally generated from feed-in tariffs, which pay households and community groups for the excess electricity they generate.

Religious buildings 'suited' to solar

British Gas' managing director Phil Bentley says: 'These potential savings are great news for the UK's religious buildings and their congregations and give them the opportunity to lead their communities in tackling climate change.' 

'Religious buildings are particularly well suited to solar power as they tend to have large south-facing roofs which receive direct sunlight for the main part of the day.'

British Gas cites one mosque in Moseley, Birmingham, which expects to make £6,400 a year through feed-in tariffs and energy savings from its solar panels, and a church in Pentonville, London, that has used specially designed solar photovoltaic (PV) tiles to blend in with the rest of the building.

Solar panel installation

For maximum efficiency, you need to put solar panels on a south-facing roof at a 30 degree angle to the horizontal (up to 65 degrees will still work in the UK) and away from the shadows of trees, buildings or chimneys. 

If you're considering installing a solar panel yourself, first read our solar panels advice guide, which includes our undercover investigation video and typical upfront costs for solar PV and solar thermal heating systems.

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