Solar Panels & Sustainability

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Exchange was successful in our application to the Low Carbon Challenge Fund and West of England Green Business Grant.   Thanks to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) we have obtained £4,860.00 towards the cost of solar panels for the roof.

The Solar PV will be a 10KW system and the grant will cover about half of the cost, with funds raised from our 2018 Community Share Offer covering the remainder.  We also plan to put in a MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery) system which we hope to get a grant contribution for as well.   MVHR provides fresh filtered air into a building whilst retaining most of the energy that has already been used in heating the building.  It is energy efficient and ensures ventilation (more important now than ever).

The project install will start in August 2022, and will complete in 2023.

The solar panels and MVHR combined mean our estimated greenhouse gas saving will be 9.3 tons of Co2 a year.  This is a great boost to our ongoing efforts to increase sustainability, and in these uncertain times around energy, the grant couldn’t have come at a better time.

Improvements like these have enabled Exchange to join Bristol Green Capital Partnership.  Bristol Green Capital Partnership Community Interest Company (CIC) was founded in 2007 and is a partnership of over 1,000+ member organisations who have committed to working towards Bristol becoming “a sustainable city with a high-quality of life for all.”

Other environmental improvements we have made since lockdown include:

  • No disposable plastics (we now operate a reusable deposit scheme – pictures below)
  • Selling more from local suppliers including Moor Beer, Blind Owl Coffee & Barleywood Cider
  • Encouraging people to bring in their own cups for coffee
  • Hand towel in toilets
  • Compostable drinks stuff and food packaging
  • Upgrading all our fittings for LED lights
  • Making the full bar / cafe menu fully vegan