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Completing our Triratna News mini-series marking the COP21 Climate change talks which finished in Paris at the weekend, Amalaketu writes from the UK to tell us about Colchester Buddhist Centre’s successful application to a fund run by major retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) for money for solar PV (photovoltaic panels) to generate its own electricity.
Amalaketu is also responsible for Triratna’s Sustainable Buddhist Centre certification scheme. He writes: “We bought the new Colchester Buddhist Centre last year. It needs a lot of work! (See picture.) Having saved up enough money over 17 years to purchase our own building outright, we wanted to make the building as sustainable as possible.
Therefore we applied for funding from the M&S Energy Fund to generate our own electricity, and to promote solar technologies more widely. We based our submission on the installation of a 4kW solar PV system, citing our charitable status, our prominent location in the community, being part of Triratna’s Sustainable Buddhist Centre Scheme - and that we want to save money!
Once shortlisted we asked all our members to vote, using Facebook and Twitter to encourage everyone in Triratna to vote. That meant everyone could get involved and there was a real buzz during the voting process, which was very close. We had votes from all over the world, including India, Australia, the US, Germany and France!
I’m really pleased to announce that the PV system was installed last month and we are up and running! As well as promoting solar energy, we are expecting to generate 4,200kWh of electricity/annum. Financially this will mean a feed-in tariff and in-house savings of £605/year; and we will offset over 1.8 tonnes of carbon every year.
I’d like to express my gratitude to all those involved in helping to promote and share the competition (as well as local Buddhists and friends in other centres. It really was an amazing experience and we totalled almost 600 votes, finishing first in the competition for our region.”
The M&S competition (for British projects only, sorry!) runs every year.
Find out how to apply in 2016.