Bandits generating electricity

Green Streets & Bradford Bandits

British Gas’ Green Streets was a ground-breaking project, helping Britain’s communities to become greener. Investing £2 million in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures, British Gas helped 14 communities across Britain to save and generate energy. Bradford bandits were one of these community groups.

Who are the BMX Bandits?

The Bradford Bandits is one of the biggest BMX clubs in West Yorkshire and is run by volunteers on a non-profit making basis. Affiliated to British Cycling, the community sports club aims to promote cycling for all ages. British Cycling qualified coaches are also on board, concentrating on the Olympic sport of BMX racing, and training riders up to national and international competition level.

The Bradford Bandits BMX Club received funding from the Green Streets programme to run a project that trials energy-saving technology. The club members were able to take part in the project, with British Gas Business running home energy assessments on each of the participants’ homes and lifestyles. This measured their current energy efficiency, and also identified what steps could be taken to improve the future efficiency of all clubs’ buildings.

‘Free’ electricity

As part of the ‘Rent-A-Roof’ scheme, the plant nursery received free business electricity from the panels in exchange for their roof space. By generating sustainable electricity, they were also eligible for the government’s Feed-in Tariff, creating a new source of income for the club. This pays to run the floodlights, enabling the club to offer winter and late night sessions.

Income generation

The Bradford Bandits received payments from the Feed-in tariffs (FIT) scheme, which was estimated to be around £2,800 a year. The income under the FIT scheme is tax free, and payments are designed to continue for 25 years. The council used the electricity from the solar panels in their nursery building. This was due to an approximate annual saving of £821 a year – which was 57% of their electricity bill.

Do you know of any other community schemes were energy can be generated? Tell us more.

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