This week we have had solar panels installed to combat rising costs of energy and to make our centre a greener, cleaner business.
Since our contract renewal in February 2023 we have seen our energy bills triple. We had to face up to the reality that this level of increase was going to have a huge impact on our business and ultimately have the potential to impact our clients and community.
The solar panels which were initially fitted on Thursday 26th has seen us generating energy by the completion of the installation on Friday 26th May.
The solar installation will half our electricity consumption and cost by 53% and help us to reduce our carbon footprint. Each year it will save two tons of CO2 and over its lifetime will avoid the equivalent of 32,824 car miles or 38 long haul flights.
The installation with a value of circa £25,000 has been possible through the generosity of a group of Highland businesses that have come together to show their support to our charity. AES Solar, ANM Electrical and Edmunsdton Elgin supported by ARK Estates have provided and installed the system at no cost to the charity.
CEO Leigh-Ann Little said, “It is hard to put into words a thank you that showcases our gratitude and the impact of such a generous donation. From initial conversations about finding a solution to resolve this astronomical increase in our operating costs, every individual involved in the process have been determined to find the best possible solution for us. We had full intention of looking for grant funding for the purchase and installation of the system, however applications are subject to lengthy delays and not all elements of the technology is eligible for funding.”
“Through the kindness of these local companies we have been able to accelerate the installation and will see the impact of cost saving immediately. Our rising energy costs are one of several elements which have lead to increased operating costs. This is set against a backdrop of reduced donations with people generally having less to give, more clients presenting who are unable to donate towards the already heavily subsidised services and increased competition for grant funding.”
We will later install a battery system that will allow us to store the excess energy we are generating and allow this to be used at periods where there is less sunlight. This will further increase our efficiencies and cost savings.
“We owe a huge amount of thanks to the business and the individuals within these companies who have really rallied to support us. As a small team of only 5 at The Oxygen Works, with only 2 of us full time, it feels like we have a whole army of support around us and in the current economic climate it has arguably never been needed more.”
See the story in the P&J here.