St Josephs Has Bright Future Ahead Thanks To Forward-Thinking Initiative

Thursday, 12 January 2012

An innovative parish has come up with a modern way to save energy and generate funds.

St Joseph's in Cumbernauld is the first chapel in the Glasgow Archdiocese to benefit from solar panels which were recently installed on the roof of the church and presbytery.

Fitted by leading renewable energy company Absolute Solar and Wind the solar panels show the Archdiocese's commitment to embracing clean energy technologies.

As well as the savings made from generating energy, the panels will also provide the parish with a long term funding source thanks to the UK Government's feed-in tariff, which gives money back to the customer for every kilo watt of energy produced.

Ronnie Convery, Director of Communication for the Archdiocese, said: "Both the Archdiocese and the Parish could see the potential for long term savings by generating electricity through solar panels. 

"Churches are traditionally difficult and expensive to heat so we were particularly keen to investigate possible solutions. The electricity generated will not only supply the needs of the church buildings, but the extra energy is routed back into the national grid, ensuring a funding source for the parish for the next 25 years.

"We will follow closely the results of the St Joseph's installation as it may be a solution for many other parishes throughout the Archdiocese. We were happy to work with Absolute because of their competitive pricing and proven track record.

"This is just the latest effort we have been making to ensure greater reliance on sustainable energy, with a view to controlling costs and protecting the environment."

Absolute's dedicated team of trained installers worked on the St Joseph's project for two weeks installing 60 PV solar panels.

This system will generate 12,000kw of green electricity per year which is the equivalent of the energy needed for three typical homes.

Mark Newall, Managing Director of Absolute, said: "The St Joseph's project was a great one to work on and shows the forward-thinking nature of the Glasgow Archdiocese. Their commitment to renewable energy will not only bring benefits for the church and presbytery building but will provide much needed funds for the Archdiocese as a whole.

"Since installing the panels at St Joseph's the UK Government has made changes to the feed-in tariff, yet despite the tariff reduction, solar energy is still a viable option. Solar panelling will continue to save customers on energy bills and offer a better return rate than most other investments."

Father Harry Mckay, Parish priest at St Jospeh's added: "We predict that we will make considerable savings and generate income for the next 25 years. While there is not much light around at this time, across the year we expect to generate more than enough electricity for our own needs and benefit from the surplus, which will be of great assistance to the parish."

The Archdiocese is already looking towards its next green project and will be installing a wind turbine at the rear car park of St Peter's Cemetery, on London Road, Glasgow, in the New Year. This will supply all the energy needs of the office there and create income which will be ring-fenced for maintaining and upgrading the cemetery complex.

For more information on Absolute Solar and Wind please visit:



Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Absolute Solar and Wind


Notes to editors:


•1.       St Joseph's system will generate 12,000kw of green energy per year. One kw is the equivalent of 17 minutes tumble drying, one hour ironing, 45 minutes of vacuuming, 24 hours operation of a fridge, six hours of TV or two hours of cooking in a conventional oven.

•2.       Absolute Solar and Wind was established in Scotland in 2007 and is the country's number one company for solar and renewable energy solutions.

•3.       Absolute is a member of the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and is one of the best installers of Solar Photovoltaic, Solar thermal and Micro Wind Energy Turbines in the UK.

•4.       Absolute offers a complete service: design, sales and installation - throughout the UK 

•5.       As an approved installer under the Government MCS accredited scheme, Absolute Solar and Wind is dedicated to photovoltaic renewable energy and is now at the forefront of the UK's rising green energy technology sector.

•6.       In April 2010 the UK Government pledged to have 7 million homes using solar power by 2020.