Housing association Havebury has embraced solar technology, installing solar panels at two if its sheltered accommodation schemes, as well as the company’s own headquarters.  

The Suffolk-based partnership has been working since 2002 to reduce its carbon footprint by installing loft and cavity wall insulation, double glazing and energy efficient central heating boilers at its properties. Now the company has furthered its green credentials by installing solar PV systems as Redwood Gardens in Bury St Edmunds and Churchill Close in Clare, both of which rely on electric heating.

Environmental and Procurement Co-ordinator Michael Blackford said the new solar panels could save as much as £3,000 across both Churchill Close and Redwood Gardens. He said: “These cost savings will be passed onto the tenants through a reduced service charge, helping to reduce the burden of ever-rising electricity bills.

“Through installing the solar panels, Havebury now also receives an income from Government’s feed-in tariff, which makes a payment on the electricity we generate as well as any surplus energy we produce. So there are lots of benefits of installing these PV systems.”

The partnership has also been given a grant of £1,000 for a voltage optimiser from St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Greener Business fund. Blackford explained: “Most electrical equipment works off 220 volts, though the incoming voltage is often higher than this. A voltage optimiser guarantees 220 volts and we will receive a cost saving on the difference.

Chief Executive Karen Mayhew said: “Havebury is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and we are keen to consider eco-friendly initiatives to our properties and own buildings. As well as the cost savings to our tenants, it will mean our impact on the environment is much reduced which is an extremely important goal for us all.”