While the mainstay of our solar PV work lies in domestic installations, increasingly business owners, community groups and charity organisations are becoming switched on to the huge benefits of solar PV.

Our latest non-domestic solar PV system went on to the roof of charity organisation The GL3 Community Hub in Churchdown, Gloucester.

Based in what was the Horizons Youth Centre, opposite Tesco, on the Cheltenham Road East, The Hub is a registered charity managed by a board of trustees, a small number of paid staff and a large team of volunteers.

In an effort to preserve the funds so critical to maintaining this vital community facility, chairman Bill Whelan has been on a cost-cutting mission, implementing a number of money-saving strategies to help conserve the charity’s much-needed coffers.

“One of the most obvious ways we could save money was by reducing our energy bills,” said Bill.

“The Hub offers a wealth of educational, social and leisure opportunities for people of all ages, running a busy programme of activities all day, every day – so we use a lot of electricity.

“I’ve gone through the building, making changes where I can to help cut down the amount of electricity we use. I’ve installed motion sensors in the toilets, so the lights come on when somebody goes in there, then switch off automatically when no motion is detected.

“I’ve also fitted timer switches in various parts of the building, so the lights turn themselves off automatically after a set amount of time.

He continued: “The sports hall is in constant use. However, it has no natural light, so we have no option but to keep the lights on in there for much of the time.

“So I started to think of other ways to help reduce our electricity bills and solar PV seemed the natural answer.”

The GL3 Community Hub is now merrily generating its own green electricity, courtesy of a 10kW solar PV system comprising forty 250-watt panels. And as well as greatly reduced electricity bills, plus a generous return through the feed-in tariff equating to several thousand pounds of wonderful tax-free income every year, Bill and the rest of the committee can take heart from the fact they will be reducing the Hub’s carbon emissions by around two-and-a-half tonnes a year.