The Museum of East Anglian Life has installed solar panels and started generating its own energy thanks to an £18,000 grant from UK Power Networks’ new Power Partners fund.
The popular Stowmarket attraction has fitted solar panels on its collections and conservation buildings providing power to eight structures within the site.
The museum welcomes more than 30,000 visitors annually including schools and community groups through an established events programme. All the buildings house objects which tell the story of East Anglia, notably its proud history of food production.
Adding a 30Kw solar power facility to the Collections and Conservation building has enabled the museum to generate its own power to be used on site and will help reduce its energy bill by around £6,000 a year, money that can be reinvested in its charity work.
The museum has plans to add ‘the story of solar’ to its existing exhibited material on energy so that visitors will have a better understanding of the new panels.
UK Power Networks, the country’s largest electricity distribution network, is awarding over a quarter of a million pounds’ worth of funding to help boost energy efficiency within local communities. Launched earlier this year, the company’s Power Partners community investment fund aims to support organisations that work to alleviate fuel poverty, support people in vulnerable circumstances and make community buildings warmer and cheaper to heat.
The fund, which is administered in partnership with leading energy justice charity the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), has selected 16 recipients from across UK Power Networks’ distribution area of the East and South East of England and London. This first round of funding with see £254,452 worth of grants distributed to recipients that include charities, community groups, and associations that promote energy efficiency.
Jenny Cousins, director of the Museum of East Anglian Life, said: “We are very grateful for the help that UK Power Networks have given us. Installing solar panels will make a huge immediate difference to the museum and to our sustainability – it’s an investment which will continue to support our community work for the next two decades.”
Veronika Karailieva, stakeholder engagement manager for UK Power Networks, said: “We had a fantastic response to our first round of applications for our new Power Partners fund and choosing 16 projects to support was quite a task. The Museum of East Anglian Life has put the money to excellent use by delivering a project that will make a lasting contribution.
The UK Power Networks’ Power Partners scheme will reopen for more applications later this year. Visit the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) website for updates: www.cse.org.uk.