Earthsummit 2002 - A guide to UK Local Agenda 21 renewable energy projects. Earthsummit 2002
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Lighting up a century old building - thanks to greenpower

The Greenhouse

The Greenhouse in Norwich's Bethel Street - which is run by the charity Greenhouse Trust - has ten solar panels mounted on the roof, with a peak-period, summertime output of 850 watts - enough electricity to power 20% of the daily requirement.

More than half the £6000 cost of installing the panels was met by donations from EcoPower customers - TXU Energi's green electricity customers who opt to pay a small amount extra for their power to support small-scale renewables projects in their own communities.

The building's hot water system is powered by two banks of solar tubes, mounted on the rooftop - an innovation which has already saved up to 60% in water-heating costs. The ten photo-voltaic panels provide lighting power.

"It is important that we reduce our energy consumption" says the project's co-ordinator. "Using renewable energy makes you very aware of where your electricity is going and how you can cut down. With the connection of photovoltaic panels we are able to maximise the proportion of our electricity that comes from renewables."

The old and the new
The Greenhouse Trust's enthusiasm for renewable energy is entirely in keeping with its sustainable approach to the restoration of the dilapidated Bethel Street property which once housed a printing works.
A 2 star listing has meant that all work has had to be in keeping with the original structure, as
well as maintaining a strong undertaking on green issues.

Alders harvested from the Norfolk Broads provide new flooring, materials such as recycled paper and wool have been used for insulation, walls and floors have been painted with organic based paints, windows have been tripled glazed and rainwater is harvested for the organic garden.

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