Solar Energy and Our Church

Brian Bliss November 2022

Solar Energy

We are all familiar now with the sight of solar panels on roofs around us and may have wondered whether it would be a good idea for us, only to dismiss it as being far too expensive. But what about our church? Would it be a good idea for our building?

I first had solar panels fitted 15 years ago when the danger of Climate Change led the government to offer 50% grants via the Energy Saving Trust. My system has long since paid for itself and I continue to earn a cash return which covers a large part of my electricity bill. There is also the reduction of my carbon footprint of course! As the benefits of my system became obvious I approached the church suggesting we might have solar panels fitted to the church since we have a south facing roof, unshaded throughout the day and ideal for a solar system. However for financial and various other reasons this was taken no further at that time. But things change and Climate Change is upon us, with the urgent need to reduce our carbon footprint. So now we have an active Creation Care Team with an Eco church bronze award already under their belt and the drive to make that into a  gold award! And we have a Finance Team who have a Solar System firmly on their agenda!

So what has a solar system to offer us? The system will generate energy throughout daylight hours, some even when the weather is dull. The electricity needs of the church are greatest during the day when generation will be taking place and that energy can be used for our needs instead of taking it from the mains, thus offering us a reduction in our electricity bill. Furthermore there will be electricity surplus to our need, and this is exported to the national grid earning us a cash payment per Kw. This could easily be in the range of £300 to £500 per annum though our Finance Team will need to shop around as different companies offer different rates per Kw.

But what would a Solar system cost? The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a 4.2 Kw system will cost in the region of £6,500 at current rates: a lot of money! Members may well say we have other priorities which must come first and have to be serviced and we must support them. Yet we have to take our role in mitigating Climate Change seriously. We have a challenge from our Creator to care for our planet and this is something the church could do if we took up the challenge to raise the money separately. I have been a member of our church now for 46yrs and I have seen what our members can achieve when a cause is a righteous one and we believe it is our calling under the Lord our God to fulfil it! Could it be that this is another of those times? 


Data Protection Policy

Under Data Protection legislation the church Charity Trustees of Saltash Baptist Church are the Data Controllers and the Church Secretary acts as our Data Protection Officer. We are collecting this information to enable the church to keep in touch with you and provide pastoral support as appropriate.

Data Protection legislation allows us to process this information as we regard it as being in the church’s legitimate interest. Your name and contact details will be entered into our church database which is held on the church office computer and cloud system which is password protected and accessed only by the Ministers, Church Secretary and Church Administrator. Your contact details will be removed from the database once you are no longer a member of the church – unless you ask to remain as one of our “church friends”. We would like to include your name and contact details in our Church Directory which will be accessible through ChurchSuite . If you are happy for your details to be included please indicate where asked to do so. You can ask for your details to be removed at any time.

To enable us to provide adequate pastoral support to you and your family, one of the Ministers may record information which may be regarded as sensitive. This information will be stored (in password protected documents) on the church computer and Cloud System but the password will only be known by the Ministers. This information will NOT be disclosed to anyone else without your consent. You have the right to ask to see any information we hold about you (including the pastoral support information) by submitting a ‘Subject Access Request’ to the Church Secretary. You also have the right to ask for information which you believe to be incorrect to be rectified. If you are concerned about the way your information is being handled please speak to our Data Protection Officer. If you are still unhappy you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office.


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