AXTER LTD, has partnered with local homelessness charity, Emmaus Suffolk, to make its two new modular housing units for vulnerable people energy bill-free by installing solar photovoltaic (PV) panels.
The new Emmaus pods will be opened today (10th October) by campaigner Sir Terry Waite, a patron of the charity, at an event marking World Homelessness Day.
Learning about Emmaus’s ambition to create two pods to offer accommodation behind its Community Hub in Ipswich, the Axter team saw that they could support the charity by transforming the modular building’s flat roofs to generate electrical energy via a photovoltaic array, producing sustainable electrical energy to power the pods.
The initial specification called for 0.7 kilowatts per roof, but Axter exceeded this by installing nine panels across the two roofs. The system now generates 3.2 kilowatts, which is over double the planning requirements. Extra power generated will lower the cost of electricity bills and the carbon footprint for the charity, including an adjacent building used for offices and the community café.
The flat waterproofing company donated nine Solar PV units, and provided design and specification, whilst covering the cost of installation by Tamaris Roofing. The modular building units were funded by the East of England homelessness charity, Hopestead.
Claire Staddon, CEO at Emmaus Suffolk, said: “We had no idea the kind of scale that this project would involve, just buying two modular units premade seemed like a simple option, but there’s a huge amount of additional work getting the utilities set up.
“It was fantastic that Axter offered us the opportunity to install solar panels so they can be essentially net zero. We can now house two vulnerable individuals in a real home setting, each with the dignity of their own front door.”
Terry Ashton, Director at Tamaris Roofing, said: “Emmaus is a fantastic charity trying to get homeless people back on their feet and back into homes they can call their own. We worked with Axter and Emmaus to install a 3.2-kilowatt system on the roofs, making these wonderful pods self-sufficient with electrics.
“Any extra electricity will go back into the charity building and help reduce electricity bills for the charity’s other facilities including their café.”
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