Gloucestershire garden centre goes green
A family-run Gloucestershire garden centre has installed more than 100 solar panels in a bid to save £63,000 and reduce carbon emissions by almost ten tonnes over the next two decades.
Staunton Garden Centre, a two-acre site owned by Brian and Lynn Lewis, was set up 35 years ago.
The panels were fitted for free through Dorset-based Renewable Energy Investments (REI). The centre will purchase zero carbon electricity from REI at a discounted rate through Solar Power Purchase Scheme before taking ownership of the system after 20 years.
Without REI's funding model, the system would have cost £33,000.
Brian said: "Although well established as a business, we have always moved with the times.
"We started from scratch and over the years we've made many changes, including the addition of this solar PV system.
"It's a win-win situation as our investment was absolutely nothing and there was no risk as far as I am concerned."
Zara Thorn, a business development manager at REI, added: "We are finding increasing numbers of garden centres taking advantage of their large roof spaces.
"Because they don't incur any costs under our Solar Power Purchase Scheme, they can preserve their capital to spend on their core business.
"Brian and Lynn at Staunton Garden Centre have also already started to making significant savings from their energy costs, also reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to battle against climate change."