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Kennet District Council throws our money to the wind again.

Council Goes For Green Energy (from The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)

Kennet District Council is considering a proposal to install solar panels and a small wind turbine at the Browfort offices in order to generate renewable electricity for use on site.

The total cost of the investment in fitting photovoltaic solar panels is in the region of £100,000 and this will lead to the generation of about 18,000 kilowatts of electricity a year.

The council wants residents' views on the matter. Anyone who would like to have a say about whether Kennet District Council should install alternative sustainable energy sources can call (01380) 724911.

Kennet Council claims: "the council needs to balance the budget and is seeking many ways to make efficiencies and savings to achieve this."

Let us assume that the capital cost hasn't been underestimated and that the "savings" haven't been overestimated. Let's also write the investment off over 25 years and assume that Kennet pay 10 pence a kilowatt because they haven't got a clue as to how to buy it cheaper.

£100000 over 25 years gives an annual cost of £4000, (and let us let them off the interest and running costs as well). Electricity saved = £1800 a year. And that is as optimistic as I can make it, in real life the costs will be much higher and the saving less, but why worry, they aren't spending their own money, they are spending ours...


Errr.... doesn't Avebury get a lot more visitors than Devizes?

Could we all please note that the unit of electical energy is a kilowatt-hour (typically costing around 8p on a domestic tariff). Kilowatt is a measure of power; if they got 18,000 KW (18MW) continuously for £100,000 capital investment, that would be an excellent bargin.

Sure we all know what they meant, and you mean, on this particular issue. But it takes only a little extra complexity for it all to go awfully wrong, if one uses the wrong units.

Best regards

This is all the more surprising as it is likely Kennet District Council will disappear, together with the three other Wiltshire DCs. The plan is to regroup them under Wiltshire County Council. The numbers are compelling, prima facie, the cost of getting rid of the DCs will be about £16-17 million (add the usual unforeseen expenses) but the savings should be £14 million per year (again add the extras). Nevertheless it does seem to make sense. What do you think?

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